The Giants haven't had the best Cactus League, with injuries and setbacks and generally frightful pitching. This is a concern, at least in that general I'm-don't-care-about-spring sense that we always pretend to have while caring about spring. It would sure have been a lot cooler if Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto had combined for 40 scoreless innings instead, I'll agree.
Dodgers' focus on future could waste Clayton Kershaw's best years
I would add ice cubes and drink that headline, but I don't want to water it down, so I'll just take it neat, thanks. Swirl it around the mouth a bit. It has a nice, complex nose! Very, very impressive. 92 points.
Let's move on to the first paragraph:
The Dodgers rotation is starting to unravel, which should be no surprise. It's not as if a medical degree was required to predict that a group of broken-down pitchers would break down again.
Did I say 92 points? What a grinch, ha ha, let's just move that score up a bit. It's still ghoulish to root for injuries, of course, but that's not what this is. This is the "well, what did you expect?" response to a plan that a lot of people side-eyed to begin with. The Dodgers acquired enough starting pitchers over the last two years to build a rotation that was 10 deep, which is a fantastic feat until you need every last one of them.
This is the part of the article where you feel smug at the problems of your hated rivals. I'll give you a few seconds of that smug. It's only fair. But there's a twist.
The twist is that the Dodgers might be NL West favorites with this rotation:
- Clayton Kershaw
- Scott Kazmir
- Alex Wood
- Julio Urias
- Jose De Leon
They're not there yet. They don't have to tap into their organizational depth like that, and they don't have to promote their preternaturally talented super-prospect, Urias. Kenta Maeda has been excellent in 13 innings, one of the bright spots, and we don't get to bounce him from the rotation just because his medicals scared other teams away. If we did, though, that rotation up there would still be one of the best in the division.
Which is all to say: It's easy to scoff at the illusion of depth when the injuries start piling up, but the Dodgers combine their above-average depth with what might be the best farm system in baseball. They have cards in the back pockets of their backup pants that they don't even have to think about yet. They are still a half-dozen pitfalls away from panicking. While I would have gone for the expensive ace in the hand over the 43 different pitchers in the bush, there are benefits to spreading the risk around.
And those pitchers who are struggling or hurt right now? They still get to heal. They weren't left on the moon with a sack of potatoes and a broken cell phone. At least one or two will come back and help, most likely.
This is a good place to point out that if the Dodgers are incredibly disappointing, it will be awesome. Oh, the burden of elevated expectations can be an unfortunate thing, especially when paired with the unbridled fury of horrified fans. A tailspin of a Dodgers season would be an all-time debacle, and we would have front row seats.
Just don't expect it. And the rule is that you don't get to ignore your own team's spring training foibles if you pick on another team. I'm not ready to do that. If I get to shrug my shoulders at Cueto and Samardzija, they get to shrug their shoulders at the pitching dominoes that seemingly won't stop falling.
But the headline is accurate. The Dodgers are having an absolutely miserable spring training, and it makes for a headline that I'm pleased to put on this here baseball website. We have a long time until we figure out if it actually means something, though.