Padres News: The Padres Rotation Against The Rest of the NL West

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The Los Angeles Dodgers

This pitching staff is considered one of the best in the league. Rightfully so, as Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke at the top of the rotation are absolutely solid.

Hyun-jin Ryu is a very solid number three starting pitcher. The free agent signing of Brandon McCarthy is very curious though. I understand he is a ground ball pitcher and the middle infield has been upgraded, but McCarthy has never been able to consistently stay healthy. To give a pitcher of that ilk a four-year, $48 million dollar contract is absurd.

Brett Anderson is penciled in to the number five spot, but he too has a history of arm problems. He was awarded a one-year, $10 million dollar contract this past off-season. In my opinion these two pitchers will go down this year, and the Dodgers will be left scratching their heads. Especially with McCarthy’s four-year deal.

Kershaw is probably the best pitcher in baseball right now. Grienke is motivated to pitch well this upcoming season, as he can opt out of his current contract and effectively become a free agent.

Ryu is an important part of the Dodger rotation. He can be flat out dominant at times, but seems a little fragile too. Only throwing 192 and 152 innings in his first 2 seasons in the Major Leagues. Which brings me to my next point, Ryu being an Asian pitcher will have to get over the third-year hurdle. A 1.9 WAR number last year is terrible for a pitcher of Ryu’s ability.

Both Hideo Nomo and Daisuke Matsuzaka were an instant success when they first came to the major leagues. Their third year, each pitcher’s ERA skyrocketed and their numbers were never the same. The odd herky-jerky motions of a Japanese or Korean pitcher at first throw major league hitters off, but once they study the pitcher and see them, then they tee off on them.

I would not have to much confidence in Ryu. Shoulder injuries limited him last year to merely 152 innings and he was constantly pulled after throwing only 90 pitches. McCarthy has an extensive injury history too, but was very effective for the New York Yankees down the stretch last season. Brett Anderson is a left-handed pitcher who has too many injury issues. He threw only 41 innings last year because of back surgery. See a common theme here?

In my opinion the Padres staff is just as good as the Dodgers staff, maybe even better. Yes, I said it. I know Kershaw is a MONSTER and Grienke is a great pitcher, but I have no real confidence in the back end of their rotation. I am also slightly biased.

Just the fact that you can debate if the Padres staff is as good as the Dodgers staff brings joy to my heart. A.J. Preller has shown the Padres a creative way to field a great team, now it’s up to the players to perform…… STAY TUNED!

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