The eight-starter experiment was basically a big game of “what if”: What if Chad Billingsley‘s elbow doesn’t hold up? What if Ted Lilly isn’t the same pitcher he was pre-surgery? What if the best pitcher in Korea can be one of the best pitchers in the United States? What if he can’t?
Here’s another “what if”: What if the Dodgers hadn’t gone out and acquired Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and entered this season with the same collection of starters they had a year ago?
Now you’re looking at Nathan Eovaldi stepping into the fifth starter’s job to replace Billingsley. Oh, wait. Eovaldi hasn’t pitched since spring training because of a shoulder issue. He’s on the 60-day disabled list (currently the Miami Marlins’ problem). Come on down, Stephen Fife.
After Fife, you’re looking at Allen Webster (who made his first major league start three days ago), Rubby De La Rosa (9.31 ERA for Boston’s Triple-A affiliate), Fernando Nieve, John Ely and perhaps Sandy Koufax as the next in line to start a game for the Dodgers.
You can thank your lucky Guggenheims that isn’t the case.
Some more bullet points for a Wednesday morning:
• The Dodgers’ rhetoric has become about as modest as their record (CBSsports.com).
• Carlos Quentin returned to the Padres yesterday. From MLB.com: “I did speak to Zack. First, I thank him for taking the time to speak to me. We were able to talk and have a good productive conversation. The details of that conversation are personal.”
• Pasadena’s Rob Rasmussen, pitching for Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday: 5 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K.
• A great photo of the Dodgers’ second-longest tenured employee standing outside his first place of employment.
• I’ve spent all morning trying to decide whether “Desert Raven” by Jonathan Wilson reminds me more of The Youngbloods, Love, The Allman Brothers Band or Neil Young. It’s become unhealthy. Here’s the video, I’m getting on with my day now: