Dodgers’ ZiPS Projections Provide Optimism For 2016 Season
Dodgers News: Vin Scully Looking Forward To Seeing Development Of Pederson, Seager
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Clayton Kershaw
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

PAGES: 1 | 2 | 3

The starting rotation is loaded with depth

Yes, you read that right. Even with the departure of Greinke, the Dodgers have an abundance of starting pitching.

Clayton Kershaw will anchor the rotation with Brett Anderson and Alex Wood returning for second seasons in Los Angeles.

New additions Kazmir and Maeda join the mix, injured arms Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are expected to return at some point, and there’s the potential for top prospects to contribute down the road such as Jose De Leon, Frankie Montas and Julio Urias.

Others that could enter the picture are veterans Beachy and Mike Bolsinger and former top prospect Zach Lee.

As for the ZiPS projections, they unsurprisingly expect Kershaw to post another dominant season, en route to his fourth Cy Young award (7.8 WAR, 2.01 ERA, 2.14 FIP, 265 strikeouts in 215 innings pitched). To no surprise, his No. 1 comp is legendary Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax.

Next up is Japanese import Maeda, who is coming off his second Eiji Sawamura award (Japan’s equivalent to the Cy Young). In his first season stateside, Maeda is projected to post a 3.4 WAR with a 3.20 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 177 innings.

Looking to fill the No. 3 spot in the rotation is newly-signed Kazmir, who is coming off a solid campaign. In his first season with the Dodgers, the southpaw expected to log 168 innings with a 3.37 ERA and 2.9 WAR.

Two familiar lefties returning are Anderson and Wood, with one likely moving to the bullpen as a long relief arm. The pair is projected to post fairly similar numbers; the former with a 1.6 WAR and 3.74 ERA in 111 innings and the latter with a 1.9 WAR and 3.74 ERA in 169 innings.

The wildcard here is Ryu, who is coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2014, so the expectations should be tempered.

ZiPS projects Ryu to post a 3.52 ERA in 126 innings — ultimately being worth two wins. If all goes well, he could easily exceed those numbers, and vice versa if his shoulder flares up again.