Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Starting pitching was a high priority for the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason as Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw all reached free agency.
While the club was able to quickly re-sign Kershaw to a one-year contract for the 2023 season, Anderson and Heaney departed for the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers, respectively.
The Dodgers filled one of the voids by signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million contract. Dustin May, who threw only 30 innings last year in his first MLB action since returning from Tommy John surgery, is expected to slot into the other opening.
During an interview with Alanna Rizzo on MLB Network’s “High Heat,” Kershaw opined that the Dodgers starting rotation has a chance to be a quality group if everyone performs up to standards:
“Tony has shown flashes. If he can stay healthy, he’s really good. Dustin, coming off Tommy John surgery, I think it was really good to get him a month or two last season under his belt before this coming season. I know he’s going to be ready to go too. We’ve got a lot of good arms. Obviously it’s probably not as proven as we’ve had in the past, but if everybody does what they’re supposed to do, I think we should be in good shape.”
As Kershaw noted, Gonsolin is coming off a career year in which he went 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 0.88 WHIP and 4.6 WAR over a career-high 130.1 innings pitched (24 starts) en route to his first All-Star Game appearance.
May also showed glimpses of being a top-of-the-rotation pitcher before his operation. Meanwhile, Julio Urías has emerged as the Dodgers ace, Kershaw has continued pitching at a high level and Syndergaard is looking to return to his previous elite form.
Clayton Kershaw hopes Dodgers learn from NLDS loss to Padres
As the Dodgers prepare for a new season, Kershaw hopes his teammates were able to learn from a heartbreaking loss to the San Diego Padres in the 2022 National League Division Series.
“When you have a regular season like we did, obviously our expectations were a lot higher,” Kershaw recently said. “With that said, playoffs are pretty much a crapshoot sometimes. It’s not always once you get in there, you’re going to win just because you think you have the best team on paper.
“That one hurt. It hurt. It was no fun to lose. It was no fun to lose to the Padres. So hopefully all of us spend a little time reflecting on what went wrong, what we want to do better and how we can make this team get over the hump.
“Because obviously, the talent is there. We have the pieces. It’s just a matter of being a better team and how to do that. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and hopefully, guys have been thinking about it a lot.”
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