Major League Baseball recently extended the administrative leave of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer amid an investigation into some extremely disturbing sexual assault allegations against him.
It certainly sounds like Bauer won’t take the mound again in 2021, and there are no guarantees that he will ever pitch again professionally.
According to a recent report, many Dodgers players do not want Bauer to return to the team, and that sentiment is shared by many fans.
Two people with knowledge of Dodgers clubhouse dynamics, stated that the majority of players do not want Trevor Bauer back under any circumstances. pic.twitter.com/JpAJu77GTx
— Baseball Authority (@BsblAuthority) July 26, 2021
The allegations are far more important than anything baseball-related, but there is still a season to finish for the Dodgers.
L.A.’s biggest on-the-field concern is the depth of its rotation, as the team seems to keep losing key starting pitchers.
Dustin May was also lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery.
Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw is currently on the self (albeit temporarily) with a forearm issue.
Here’s how the Dodgers have dealt with the setbacks.
Josiah Gray Was Named To The Rotation
With the Dodgers desperate for options, the team turned to 23-year-old Josiah Gray for a start against the San Francisco Giants on July 20.
He was shaky, allowing four earned over four innings, but L.A. decided to keep in the rotation for another start, and he looked much better in his next outing.
The righty allowed just two earned over four frames against the Colorado Rockies in a Dodgers win.
Gray has fanned 13 batters in his eight innings so far, so the potential is certainly there for the former second-round pick.
Absolutely love this from Dave Roberts
He left Josiah Gray in there to get out of the bases loaded jam. After he did, Roberts was the first one to greet him at the top of the dugout pic.twitter.com/qzlT14Rq49
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) July 25, 2021
Gray probably won’t find himself getting any postseason starts, but if he’s able to do his job for the rest of the regular season, he could end up being a key piece to the Dodgers’ hopes at winning the National League West.
Tony Gonsolin Was Named To The Rotation
Before Gray got a stab at a rotation spot, Tony Gonsolin heard his name called.
And truthfully, Gonsolin has been great as a starter.
He has made four starts this month and has been impressive in all of them.
The righty has managed a 2.00 ERA and .194 opponent batting average in July, and in his most recent outing, he tossed five-and-a-third innings of shutout ball.
Gonsolin’s career is young, and he is showing that he has an exceptionally high ceiling.
The Team Is Reportedly Targeting A Starting Pitcher At The Trade Deadline
Los Angeles is expected to be active at this week’s trade deadline.
The club is rumored to be in the mix for a starting pitcher, and Max Scherzer is one of the names that seems to keep coming up.
Scherzer would be a massive addition to this Dodgers squad.
He still looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball despite his age.
The 37-year-old has a 2.83 ERA, 3.46 FIP, and 0.87 WHIP this season.
The Washington Nationals are presumably going to shop him at a high price, but the Dodgers have the assets to get a deal done.
What’s The Base-Case Scenario?
Let’s say that Gray and Gonsolin prove to be consistent back-of-the-rotation options, the Dodgers pull off a trade for a starter at the deadline, and to sweeten the deal, Kershaw comes back from injury and looks like his best self.
A lot would have to go right for all of that to happen, but it’s possible, right?
In this case, Los Angeles would be looking at an absolutely loaded rotation despite the losses of Bauer and May.
L.A. could conceivably headline its rotation with a Kershaw-Buehler-Urias trio and still have three players (Gray, Gonsolin and a newly-added arm at the deadline) to fill the final two spots.
Not a bad outcome at all.