COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Dodgers suddenly find themselves with only three of the original members of their opening-day rotation after the team announced Chad Billingsley would need Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
But, despite some arguments to the contrary, it is hard to see what else the Dodgers could have done to avoid this situation. A front office would be derelict in its duty to make plans for such an occurrence.
As many have noted, the ironic news is that the Dodgers were in the best position to weather a storm of injuries in their pitchers. The Dodgers began the season with eight major league-caliber starting pitchers, depending on your opinion of Harang, and none of which could be sent down to the minor leagues.
Then came the injuries.
A quick timeline:
- Harang was traded to the Colorado Rockies on April 6
- Chris Capuano was placed on the DL on April 17 for a calf strain that came from running to join the Quentin-caused brawl
That's how you get Stephen Fife occupying the pitching spot once held by Billingsley at the back of the rotation.
The front office is not to blame for this. No team could foresee three pitchers going down in a matter of weeks; the Dodgers are now the only team to start 8 different starting pitchers (only two other teams have started as much as 7).
A team carrying 8 starting pitchers on its major-league lineup would be wasting spots that could be used for pitchers used to pitching out of the bullpen. Not to mention wasting money (even for a team with seemingly unlimited funds).
Some teams aren't ready with more than a spot starter for a member of its rotation to go down. Few teams could handle two members of the rotation going on the DL -- but even the Dodgers and their huge pitching depth was found wanting by the test of three starters going down in less than a month.
As long as Greinke and Capuano remain on schedule, the pitching for the Dodgers will be fine. Just don't blame Ned Colleti and the new ownership for Stephen Fife being pressed into duty.
Matthew Reichbach is a freelance writer and lifelong follower of the Dodgers from their minor league affiliates to the major league club.You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @3_2count.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Dodgers