The Los Angeles Dodgers have shown to a well-oiled machine as they took the league by storm this season and held the best overall record for a significant stretch. With a roster of superstars, veterans, youth and rookies, it’s no surprise L.A. has clicked on all cylinders for the better part of the year.
For a team with mostly strengths as opposed to weaknesses, one can make a case that the Dodgers’ strongest suit this season has been their star-studded starting rotation. The group at various points has paced the Majors in WAR, ERA, innings pitched and walks per nine, among other categories.
Ten different players have started at least one game for the Dodgers this season, furthering the emphasis president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman places on depth.
Now in his fifth season at the helm, Friedman offered high praise for the club’s starting rotation, deeming it the most talented he’s ever been around, per SportsNet LA:
“It’s really been incredible. In my career in baseball I’ve been fortunate to have been around a lot of really good staffs, including a lot here. This is far and away the best I’ve ever been around. Not just what they do every fifth day, just the way they motivate each other. It’s like a perfect storm of things coming together in the way they’re feeing off each other.”
Headlining the Dodgers’ talented starting rotation is the three-headed monster that is Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. The trio has excelled this season, earning All-Star honors while positioning themselves to be in serious consideration for top-10 placement in National League Cy Young voting at the end of the year.
Of course, now each of the three are in the midst of a respective downturn, which has led to extra rest for Buehler and Ryu being skipped over before making his next turn. Kershaw equated their struggles to a lineup collectively finding its rhythm.
Rounding out the backend of L.A.’s starting rotation over various points has been a combination of Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May. Hill is on the verge of returning from a forearm injury, which should provide a needed boon.