Between Three Palms: Who's on the Bump?

Howard Cole

While the term "Dodgers depth" has been beaten to death in recent seasons, it's never been more apt. Los Angeles has talented backups at every position and backups for their backups at most spots.

The worthy starting pitcher candidates could fill two rotations. Or one in L.A. and another in Oklahoma City, as the case may be.

These are they: Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Julio Urias, Alex Wood, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Ross Stripling, Brusdar Graterol and Jimmy Nelson. Fine, so I fudged a little at the end. But then again, maybe not.

The point is, barring injury, someone is going to be on the outside looking in disappointed. The Dodgers are hinting that that person is Dustin May. At least, that's the spin as of this morning. And if there’s one thing the Dodgers do as well as they handle pitching, it’s spin.

Yes, Wood makes sense as a starter, but does that make him a better one than May, circa 2020? I'm not so sure. And yes, of the two May is the more compelling bullpen option. If he's hitting 98 and 99 while going five and six innings from the first, 100-102 out of the pen is within the realm.

I'm sorry, but I think May is too good to spend a minute in the Pacific Coast League. And following 137 frames per from 2017-2019 he needs the innings. Which, come to think of, might be the point of a demotion to open the 2020 campaign. Light up Triple-A, fine tune something new, eat those innings and be ready at the first sign of a sore arm with the big club.

In this episode of Between Three Palms Tom Wilson and I discuss the Dodgers staff. And you heard it here first: Despite the club's proclamations about Urias, the Teenager will spend part of the 2020 campaign as a fireman.

And remember, glove conquers all.

Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.