At first, many fans thought the team was going to have a hard time getting by without him.
Instead, L.A. has played some of its best baseball in his absence.
The organization has done an outstanding job of figuring out a way to move forward without the former Cy Young Award winner.
Replacing an elite starter is no small task, but truthfully, the Dodgers have made it look relatively easy.
Here’s how they’ve done it.
The Team Traded For A Future Hall Of Famer In Max Scherzer
We need to keep something in mind: The Dodgers didn’t just lose Bauer.
They have also been without veteran ace Clayton Kershaw for nearly two months.
Both of those things were likely factors in the team’s decision to acquire Max Scherzer at the trade deadline.
L.A.’s trade for Scherzer changed the landscape of the 2021 season.
At the time, it seemed like he was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Dodgers, and that thesis has been proven correct.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner has a 1.29 ERA, 1.64 FIP, and 0.77 WHIP over six starts with L.A.
The Dodgers are 6-0 when he gets the ball.
#Dodgers are 6-0 when Max Scherzer starts
— Ralph Mason (@Ralph_MasonJr) September 2, 2021
It would be impossible for his stint with the team to be going any better than it is.
The 37-year-old seems like a fantastic fit with the organization, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him with the team beyond 2021.
David Price Has Stepped Up As A Reliable Starter
David Price entered the year as a reliever.
Most folks didn’t expect him to join the rotation at any point this season.
The veteran has made 11 starts this year and has been a very reliable rotation piece.
As a starter, he has a 3.92 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and .681 opponent OPS.
Impressively, he has allowed three runs or fewer in all of his outings.
The lefty is going to have a chance to continue his stellar run on Friday night when the Dodgers open up a massive three-game set with the San Francisco Giants.
Price will likely rejoin the bullpen when the playoffs roll around, but he’s sure to get some high-leverage usage in October.
Before Hitting The IL, Tony Gonsolin Helped The Cause
Tony Gonsolin is on the injured list right now, but before he went on the shelf, he helped L.A.’s rotation situation a lot.
The 27-year-old posted a 2.76 ERA in nine starts before injuring his shoulder.
The Dodgers went 6-3 in those starts.
Gonsolin is expected to return before the season ends.
Tony Gonsolin is out taking batting practice. Dave Roberts said this week he could be nearing a three-inning rehab stint at an affiliate, so this is probably in preparation for that.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 1, 2021
It’ll be interesting to see what type of role L.A. finds for him.
With the postseason approaching, perhaps the team will find a home for him in the bullpen.
As long as Kershaw returns to the rotation, it seems unlikely that Gonsolin will make any starts in the playoffs, as L.A. will be able to roll with a four-man rotation of Scherzer-Kershaw-Walker Buehler–Julio Urias.
That’s an extremely intimidating group of arms.
The Dodgers are going to be a very tough out.