Thursday, November 21, 2013

2013 Los Angeles Dodgers season review: Starting pitchers

A strong starting rotation has long since been the calling card of the Dodgers, and 2013 was no different. A Cy Young award winner, a big-money free agent who paid off and a rookie led this group.

Despite having question marks at the end of the rotation, the Dodgers were still great in this department.

Dodger starting pitchers by the numbers

62-46 W-L
3.13 ERA
1.19 WHIP
8.3 H/9
0.8 HR/9
2.5 BB/9
7.7 K/9
3.07 K/BB
7 CG

Individual performers (minimum 40 IP)

16-9, 1.83 ERA, 236 IP, 0.91 WHIP, 6.3 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, 8.8 K/9, 4.46 K/BB, 194 ERA+
- What can I say about Kershaw that hasn't already been said about the greatest things in life? He's the best pitcher in the galaxy and has another Cy Young award to show for it. Now, about that contract extension...
Grade: A

15-4, 2.63 ERA, 177 2/3 IP, 1.11 WHIP, 7.7 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 3.22 K/BB, 135 ERA+
- Despite suffering a broken collar bone, Greinke was better than advertised in his first season with the Dodgers. He's a "No. 1a," not a "No. 2." The next step: making 30-plus starts and logging 200-plus innings.
Grade: A-

14-8, 3.00 ERA, 192 IP, 1.20 WHIP, 8.5 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 3.14 K/BB, 119 ERA+
- Ryu's debut season went better than anyone could have expected. Ryu established himself as a legitimate No. 3 starter after the Dodgers inked him out of Korea last year. He's going into his age-27 season and should get better.
Grade: B+

Ricky Nolasco (with Dodgers)
8-3, 3.52 ERA, 87 IP, 1.19 WHIP, 8.6 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9, 3.57 K/BB, 101 ERA+
- Nolasco got off to a great start with the Dodgers before impolding the last three starts. He, at one time, looked like he might challenge Ryu for the team's No. 3 spot in the playoffs. He only appeared in the NLCS, and didn't fare too well. Still, he was well worth the price the Dodgers paid in young players.
Grade: B

4-7, 4.26 ERA, 105 2/3 IP, 1.41 WHIP, 10.6 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, 6.9 K/9, 3.38 K/BB, 84 ERA+
- Capuano was all-but-traded in the winter only to remain with the Dodgers for the duration of the 2013 season. He had his ups and downs, but was a somewhat valuable piece for the Dodgers in 2013.
Grade: C-

4-4, 3.86 ERA, 58 1/3 IP, 1.53 WHIP, 10.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 6.9 K/9, 2.25 K/BB, 93 ERA+
- Fife had asserted himself well, despite suffering the same shoulder injury twice this season. He had a sub-3.00 ERA for a majority of his season before having a rough go at it late. Fife is definitely a nice No. 6 or No. 7 starter for the Dodgers at this point.
Grade: B

0-5, 5.19 ERA, 43 1/3 IP, 1.50 WHIP, 10.4 H/9, 1.7 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 2.73 K/BB, 69 ERA+
- Beckett had one good start in Arizona (which he lost). Other than that, he was atrocious and missed most of the season with an injury. He's on the books for 2014, so barring an unforeseen trade or release, he'll be around. Reports say he'll be ready for the start of the season. I'm skeptical about that.
Grade: D-

1-0, 3.00 ERA, 12 IP, 1.42 WHIP, 9.0 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 4.5 K/9, 1.20 K/BB, 123 ERA+
- I'm sure you're asking, "Wait, I thought the minimum number of innings pitched is 40?" It is, but Billingsley gets a write-up because of his and the Dodgers' stubborness. Billingsley was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in late-August 2012 and instead of undergoing Tommy John surgery, he and the Dodgers decided to try to rehab through it. Well, that didn't work and cost Billingsley all but two games of the 2013 season and likely at least half of the 2014 season. I'm one of Billingsley's biggest fans, but this was clearly the wrong call (and many said the same whent he decision was made).
Grade: F 

The rest
Ted Lilly, Grade: F
Matt Magill, Grade: D-
Edinson Volquez, Grade: C

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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