This is the accompanying piece to the 2022 Projected Lineup post from a couple days ago. The thing with this one is, it’s even tougher to project this three years out than it was the position players. We’ll see how this goes.
Here are the previous attempts at this exercise (year written in parenthesis):
Here was my prediction for the 2019 pitching staff:
- SP 1: Clayton Kershaw
- SP 2: Julio Urias
- SP 3: Jose De Leon
- SP 4: Kenta Maeda
- SP 5: Grant Holmes
- RP: Jharel Cotton
- RP: Alex Wood
- RP: Yaisel Sierra
- RP: Chris Hatcher
- RP: Yimi Garcia
- RP: Josh Sborz
- CL: Kenley Jansen
Considering the volatility of pitching staffs and (especially) bullpens, this wasn’t too bad. The biggest whiff appears to be Sierra, while four of the other pitchers have been traded. Still, six of the 12 are still with the org, even if they didn’t all begin the season on the active roster.
A player’s season-age will be in parenthesis. This exercise also does not take into account potential trades or free agent signings (not like the Dodgers make any big ones anyway). I know it isn’t terribly realistic to think the Dodgers won’t venture outside the organization for talent, but this is not that kind of post.
Starting Pitcher 1
Walker Buehler (28): Arbitration-eligible for the first time; should be one of the NL’s best starters.
Julio Urias (25): Second year of arbitration; hope for no innings restrictions by this time.
2022 SP 1: Buehler
We saw just how great Buehler can be in 2018. He’s off to a bit of a slow start in 2019, but he has the best combination of stuff and command/control of any Dodger pitcher projected to be with the org in three years. Urias could challenge if Buehler doesn’t progress and Urias proves he’s over the injuries.
Starting Pitcher 2
Dustin May (24): Could be in his second full season.
Julio Urias (25): He’d be one hell of a No. 2 starter.
2022 SP 2: Urias
Urias should be fully healthy by this time and hopefully established as one of the best starting pitchers in the league. May has an interesting combination of stuff/command that not many other Dodger starters have, but he’ll be too early in his career to overtake a guy like Julio.
Starting Pitcher 3
Tony Gonsolin (28): Could be a year ahead of May in terms of service time, could also be a reliever.
Clayton Kershaw (34): Crafty lefty might opt to retire by this point.
Dustin May (24): Highest upside of any remaining Dodger pitcher.
2022 SP 3: May
May brings the ability to miss bats, but also get a lot of ground balls. That’s a skill most Dodger pitchers don’t possess. The step forward he took in 2018 has put him on this kind of path.
Starting Pitcher 4
Tony Gonsolin (28): Kind of a late-bloomer, can miss bats.
Josiah Gray (24): We’ll see how he develops with the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw (34): Going with the “he retired” theme.
Kenta Maeda (34): Will be in Year 6 of his 8-year deal.
Mitchell White (27): Will need to make big strides to be eligible here.
2022 SP 4: Gonsolin
If Gonsolin were a few years younger, he’d be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He has a legitimate 4-pitch mix that should serve him well as he heads toward arbitration.
Starting Pitcher 5
Josiah Gray (24): If the Dodgers can develop him, he certainly has the stuff to be an MLB starter.
Michael Grove (25): Big stuff, but hard to project him here right now because of track record.
Kenta Maeda (34): Might be a reliever by this point.
Ross Stripling (32): Final year of arbitration, still with the team?
Mitchell White (27): Could be trade bait.
2022 SP 5: Gray
Going out on a limb here and think the Dodgers will be able to maximize Gray’s potential and stuff and make him a solid starting pitcher. He might begin his career pitching out of the bullpen, but 5-plus years of him in the rotation is an intriguing proposition.
Caleb Ferguson (25): Might not have closer stuff, but should be a quality reliever.
Kenley Jansen (34): Free agent after 2021; would require a new deal.
Marshall Kasowski (27): Solid relief prospect, secondary pitch will need to improve.
Dennis Santana (26): Command/control could hold him back, but the stuff is legit.
Jordan Sheffield (27): Big-time stuff, but command/control doesn’t project to be even fringe-average.
2022 Closer: Santana
Santana might be in his second year of team control by this point and could be the heir apparent to Jansen. We’ve seen Jansen last season and so far this season, and projecting him three years down the road as the still-dominant closer is tough right now. Santana’s fastball-slider combination should play well out of the bullpen, provided he can command them consistently.
Scott Alexander (32): Will be in his final year of arbitration.
Caleb Ferguson (25): First-year arbitration-eligible, should be a reliable option for Dave Roberts.
Marshall Kasowski (27): Should be a cost-effective relief option.
Kenta Maeda (34): If he’s here, hopefully it’s with a reworked contract.
Logan Salow (27): Sleeper as a lefty neutralizer.
Josh Sborz (28): Should carve out a solid career as a middle reliever.
Jordan Sheffield (27): Could be the effectively wild reliever.
Ross Stripling (32): Might be playing elsewhere.
Bryan Warzek (25): Developing as a starter, but his profile screams lefty reliever.
Mitchell White (27): Could be dealt by now, profiles better as a starter.
2022 RP (7): Alexander, Ferguson, Kasowski, Maeda, Salow, Sborz, Sheffield
You have a couple guys capable of going multiple innings, as well as some guys who can miss bats. Combine them with a potential shutdown reliever like Santana and the bullpen could be a decent shape. Of course, I feel like we’ve said this many times over the years.
|Walker Buehler||SP 1|
|Julio Urias||SP 2|
|Dustin May||SP 3|
|Tony Gonsolin||SP 4|
|Josiah Gray||SP 5|
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