Day Two of the Freeway Series: Angels at Dodgers. Kenta Maeda makes his Dodger Stadium debut.
Ross Stripling is (for now) the Dodgers’ fifth starter. He’s never pitched above AA levels, and he will make his first MLB start April 8 in San Francisco.
Rob Neyer at FoxSports:
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.
Speculation remains the currency of choice among the beat reporters, it seems.
Dodgers meet with Maeda, says MLB.
The Dodgers met with Japanese free-agent pitcher Kenta Maeda on Thursday, according to several Japanese media outlets.
The Dodgers are believed to prefer a trade for Miami ace Jose Fernandez or Tampa Bay fourth starter Jake Odorizzi, but don’t want to deal such top prospects as Corey Seager or Julio Urias to do it.
They also reportedly have some interest in Scott Kazmir, one of the few remaining free agents who could crack their rotation.