A year ago at this time, the LA Dodgers were trying desperately to piece together a starting rotation for the 2012 season. Hiroki Kuroda had left the team as a free agent, Rubby De La Rosa was on the mend from Tommy John surgery and would miss most, if not all, of the upcoming season, and Ted Lilly came to camp with a huge contract and serious arm problems. The team was approaching the new season with a grand total of two dependable starters, Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.
To fill the void, the team signed a pair of veteran free agent starters, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. Unspectacular but workmanlike, they filled major voids in the rotation, between them making 64 starts, eating up very close to 380 innings, and winning 22 games.
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|A year later, the Dodgers have a rotation that will include Josh Beckett, acquired late last season, new mega-bucks free agent Zack Greinke, and likely Korean phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu. With Kershaw still the ace, and Billingsley hopefully recovered from his late-season injury, that totals five starters. When are five ever enough? So, who is in the wings for the sixth spot and other backup roles?
With Lilly still a major question mark, and highly touted young starters De La Rosa and Nathan Eovaldi traded away, that leaves Stephen Fife and the two 2012 saviors, Capuano and Harang. So, just what is
the rumor mill churning about now? Why trades involving both Capuano and Harang. Nooooo!
Remember, Beckett had an injury plagued 2012, Billingsley is coming off a season-ending injury, and Ryu has yet to throw a major league pitch. The Dodgers have no major holes to fill, with their $300 M payroll that includes a set lineup and a deep bench. They also have a deep bullpen, though its success is dependent on the health and stamina of close Kenley Jansen. The point is, the Dodgers do not need to make a trade, certainly not a trade to rid themselves of an excess starting pitcher, and certainly not to save money.
They have to keep both Capuano and Harang or it will be guaranteed that sometime this summer the team will be searching for innings from journeymen and Triple-A starters when the likes of Ryu, Billingsley, Beckett, Lilly, and who knows who else, will be ineffective and/or injured.
No, you NEVER have too much pitching.