The Los Angeles Dodgers have already experienced some turnover in their starting rotation this winter, but still figure to return a strong group for the 2022 season.
The unit is headlined by Walker Buehler, who has been ranked by ESPN’s Buster Olney among the top 10 starting pitchers heading into the 2022 regular season. Olney amassed his annual list by receiving input from evaluators and others around baseball.
Buehler was ranked No. 6, which is behind Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets (No. 1), Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies, Max Scherzer of the Mets, and Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.
Following Buehler are Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, Brandon Woodruff of the Brewers, Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves, and Robbie Ray of the Seattle Mariners to complete the top-10 starters.
Buehler went 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA, 3.16 FIP and 0.97 WHIP over a career-high 33 starts last season. He earned a second career All-Star Game selection and finished in fourth place for the 2021 NL Cy Young Award.
While Buehler was the only Dodgers starter who placed in Olney’s top 10, Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer were named among the “best of the rest.”
Urias went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.13 FIP and 1.02 WHIP across 32 starts in his first full season being a permanent member of the Dodgers’ rotation. He was the Majors’ only 20-game winner last year and logged a career-high 185.2 innings.
Kershaw was plagued by injuries this past season, but still pitched to a solid 3.55 ERA, 3.00 FIP and 1.02 WHIP with 144 strikeouts against 21 walks in 121.2 innings. The general sense is he ultimately will decide between re-signing with the Dodgers or joining the Texas Rangers.
Bauer went 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 1.00 WHIP over 17 starts last year before sexual assault allegations landed him on administrative leave for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Bauer’s future with the Dodgers is clouded by uncertainty, and the team has been reluctant to comment on his status until MLB concludes their investigation.
Dodgers’ Treinen ranked top 10 relief pitcher for 2022 season by Olney
Olney also revealed his top 10 rankings for relief pitchers going into the 2022 season, which saw Blake Treinen place fourth on the list.
The right-hander pitched to a 1.99 ERA and 2.88 FIP, and struck out 10.58 hitters per nine over 72.1 innings last season. He is in line to potentially take over as Dodgers closer this year if Kenley Jansen signs elsewhere.
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