clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Dodgers are already down 3 starters

Friday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the Dodgers' injury woes, the 11 genres of Photo Day photos and a possible Josh Reddick extension.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

We knew the Dodgers' rotation was risky. When Scott Kazmir is your second most-reliable starter, then there is no other way to describe it, even with Clayton Kershaw fronting the whole thing. It's now March 4, days into spring training games being played, and the Dodgers are already down three starters. You knew their depth would be tested, but tested with such immediacy? That wasn't part of the plan.

Brett Anderson received and accepted the qualifying offer after his first healthy season since his rookie campaign in 2009. He will now miss 3-5 months after undergoing back surgery. We've literally never seen Anderson healthy in back-to-back years, and this was a recurrence of a past back injury that required surgery. He joins Hyun-jin Ryu, who already felt discomfort in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder after a bullpen session even though he hasn't pitched since the 2014 postseason, and Brandon McCarthy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and isn't expected back until mid-season, as starters who could begin the season on the DL.

The Dodgers still have starters, but it's a group that includes Kazmir -- who faded down the stretch, has a lengthy injury history, and hasn't thrown 200 innings since 2007 -- as well as Kenta Maeda, who signed arguably the most team-friendly deal since the concept was invented thanks to concerns over his elbow. This leaves out the questions about just how good he'll be in his transition to MLB, too -- Maeda isn't in the same tier of pitcher as fellow NPB imports such as Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka, with many believing he's a mid-rotation arm at best. Last, there's Alex Wood, who either had a down year or had reality catch up to him in 2015. The Dodgers aren't doomed, far from it, but this is an inauspicious start in a division that was already expected to be competitive.