Over the last month-plus the Los Angeles Dodgers were reported as being interested in addressing their starting rotation and bullpen, and acquiring a right-handed hitter. More recently leading up to the July 31 deadline, the bulk of their focus appears to be on trading for a left-handed reliever.
That may have changed in some regard now that Clayton Kershaw is on the disabled list due to a lower back strain. Prior to Kershaw suffering the injury, the Dodgers were connected to Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander, among others.
Now the bulk of their attention appears to be on Darvish, but the Rangers’ asking price for a rental may prove too steep for Los Angeles.
In the estimation of one general manager, however, the Dodgers faced questions in their starting rotation even with a healthy Kershaw, via Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
“They have Kershaw and Wood, then what?” says the rival. “I think they need one more starter. The injury to (Julio) Urias makes it tough.”
Wood only recently suffered his first loss of the season, and is 11-1 with a 2.17 ERA, 2.43 FIP and 0.97 WHIP. Wood began the season in the bullpen, squeezed out by a crowded rotation, before emerging as an integral starter.
Behind a change in his windup, making for a more streamlined delivery, Rich Hill has pitched to expectations of late. Hill is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 52 strikeouts over 37.1 innings across his last six starts.
Losing Julio Urias to season-ending shoulder surgery appeared to be an injury the Dodgers were strong position to withstand, but Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu struggled at times.
What’s more, McCarthy is currently on the disabled list due to a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. Ryu returned Monday night after being placed on the DL July 4 because of residual pain and swelling from being struck by a line drive on his left foot.
Whether Darvish, Verlander or another option, it would not come as much of a surprise should the Dodgers attempt to bolster their starting rotation in some fashion. Be it prior to the non-waiver deadline or during August.