You can never have too much pitching. There are few greater truisms in baseball. Look no further than this year’s Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers entered the season with six starting pitchers on their major league roster (Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hyun-jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang) and two more on the disabled list (Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly) on pace to be activated during the season’s opening weeks. That’s eight starting pitchers, a ton of depth in a league in which many teams enter camp with a dearth of options for the fifth spot in their rotation.
So how has that worked out? Well, on April 6, Los Angeles traded Harang, who went 10-10 with a 3.61 ERA for them last year, to the Rockies for veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez. On April 10, they activated Billingsley from the disabled list to fill the fifth spot in the rotation. On April 11, Greinke broke his left collarbone in an on-field fight after hitting the Padres’ Carlos Quentin with a pitch. On April 16, Capuano started in place of the injured Greinke and suffered a calf strain that sent him to the DL as well. On April 21, the Dodgers called up Stephen Fife, who was ninth on their depth chart coming into the season, to start in place of Billingsley, who was returned to the DL with elbow pain, and on April 23, they announced that Billingsley needed Tommy John surgery and would miss the remainder of the season. Ted Lilly will be activated from the DL to start Wednesday night against the Mets.