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What's left of Dodgers' rotation needs to get back on track

April 23, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had a poor outing in his last start against the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had a poor outing in his last start against the… (Harry How / Getty Images )

That little ol' offensive fury in Baltimore on Sunday best be a sign of things to come, because right now the one rock to this Dodgers team is showing cracks.

The Dodgers are not only down an entire rotation — one pitcher traded (Aaron Harang) and four on the disabled list (Zack Greinke, Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley, and for the moment, Ted Lilly) — but after being sterling the first two week of the season, the rotation wobbled mightily last week.

It’s not just depth taking a hit, it’s the current starters suddenly looking hittable. The rotation owned a 7.89 ERA last week, after posting an outstanding 2.17 ERA during the first two weeks.

There was no way the rotation was going to keep up that early pace, though few would have forecast such an immediate crash-and-burn. Even Clayton Kershaw, Tuesday night’s starter in New York against the Mets, had an uncharacteristically poor outing in his last start against the Padres.

And the way the rotation is currently constructed, it can hardly afford Kershaw to look mortal. Outside of him, the other four all bring questions:

Hyun-Jin Ryu is still proving he can make the transition from South Korea directly to the majors; Josh Beckett is still proving that at 32 he’s not the 5-11, 5.23 pitcher he was with Boston last year; Lilly (who should be activated on Wednesday) hasn't started a game since last May and is coming off shoulder surgery; and Stephen Fife is a still unproven minor leaguer called up in an emergency situation.

Let’s face it, this group could go either way. Yep, might be a good time to start hitting.

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