Even if Clayton Kershaw (36), the three-time winner of the Cy Young Award, returns to the mound, it will be difficult for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make the third starting pitcher. The Los Angeles Dodgers has strengthened its starting rotation throughout the winter to make an all-time starting pitcher rotation. Naturally, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (26), the ace pitcher of the Japanese team, will also likely add wings.
Dodgers Nation, a U.S. media outlet, said on the 24th (Korea time), “The LA Dodgers’ recruitment of James Paxton (36) could limit the time Kershaw can stay in LA.”랭크카지노주소
Earlier, many U.S. local media, including USA Today and MLB.com , reported that the LA Dodgers and left-hander Paxton signed a one-year FA contract worth 12 million dollars. Paxton, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the rookie draft in 2010, recorded a total of 64 wins and 38 losses with a 3.69 ERA in 156 games and 932 strikeouts in 850 ⅔ innings since his big league debut in 2013.
Last year, Paxton was considered a left-hander who boasted a fastball speed of 95.2 miles (153.2 kilometers) on average and was considered a veteran who could still lead a team. The problem is his body that is not talented. Throughout his career, he has never played more than 170 innings in a season due to various injuries such as hips and knees. Finally, in 2021, he underwent Tommy John Surgery meant to link tendon in his elbow and spent all of 2022 in total. Fortunately, he returned to the Boston Red Sox last year and showed good performance even after surgery with seven wins and five losses with an ERA of 4.50 and 101 strikeouts in 96 innings.
“Pakston pitched fairly well in 2023. His strikeout rate of 24.6 percent was higher than the Major League average, and his swing rate reached 27.5 percent,” MLB.com said. “He mainly used four-seam fastballs (55.8 percent usage rate) with strong horizontal movements, and used changeups and sinkers.”
With Paxton joining the team, the Los Angeles Dodgers has formed an ultra-luxury starting rotation. The U.S. baseball statistics magazine FanGraph predicted that Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, 31, Walker Buehler, 30, and Bobby Miller, 25, would be the starting pitchers in the LA Dodgers in rotation. On top of that, if Tony Gonsolin, a 16-win pitcher who is undergoing rehabilitation, and Dustin May, a 100-mile fastball pitcher, join the team in the middle of the season, there will be virtually no starters who can match the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This is why it is uncertain whether Kershaw, a one-club man and franchise star who underwent shoulder surgery this winter, will return to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Currently an FA, Kershaw has repeatedly announced that he will not play for other teams other than his hometown team Texas Rangers and LA Dodgers. Even after recruiting Paxton, the Los Angeles Dodgers did not close down the possibility of Kershaw’s return.
However, more and more U.S. media are mentioning the scenario in which Kershaw will not return to the LA Dodgers until August at the latest. While Kershaw is likely to be utilized as a bullpen this year, superstar Shohei Ohtani is set to return to the mound next year, and Kershaw will likely be excluded from the starting lineup for the third time. The LA Dodgers’ total annual salary, which has already surpassed the mark of luxury, is also uncertain about Kershaw’s return.
“If we sign a contract with Paxton, the 40-man roster of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be full. If Kershaw is really willing to return to the second half of the year and spend less, the Los Angeles Dodgers will make a trade to empty a seat on the roster,” Dodgers Way said. “If Paxton maintains his health, the problem will become even more complicated.” He left a meaningful comment, saying, “Would it be meaningful for the LA Dodgers to exclude promising player Ed Sheehan from the roster for the icon of the past?”
Aside from Kershaw’s return, the latest recruitment has more good things for the Los Angeles Dodgers. By recruiting a number of first-line pitchers with frequent injury history, the team has minimized the risk of collapse. Currently, only Yamamoto and Miller in their second year of debut are intact players in the LA Dodgers starting rotation. This year is Buehler’s first season back in the big league since Tommy John Surgery in 2022. Glasnow, who joined the team in a trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, is a representative free-body player who has played more than 100 innings in a season only twice in eight seasons. May is highly likely to return to the second half of last year after being given Tommy John Surgery again following 2021.
Yamamoto was Japan’s best pitcher at the moment, winning five consecutive pitchers (2021, 2022), three consecutive Sawamura Awards and three consecutive pitcher MVP titles in 45 years for the first time in NPB history. He started all 23 regular season games last year with 16 wins, six losses, an ERA of 1.21 and 34 walks in 164 innings with 169 strikeouts, but he had only two homers, a hit rate of 0.198, and a WHIP (per-inning on-base permit rate) of 0.88, a quality start rate of 91.3 percent (more than six innings, three earned runs or less). He led Japan to victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), demonstrating his competitiveness in the international arena. Based on his stellar career, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 12-year contract worth $325 million (about 433 billion won).
The prevailing assessment is that he is a player who can aim for the Cy Young Award even if he comes right now.