DENVER — As the Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up their series with the Colorado Rockies, it’s clear that manager Dave Roberts is already formulating his postseason pitching plan.
How the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation may stack up in the postseason
The Los Angeles Dodgers will open the MLB playoffs at home as the second seed on the National League side of the bracket. On Thursday, Roberts tipped his hand on how he may use his starting pitchers after Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller, who will likely draw the first two starts of the National League Division Series when it kicks off next Saturday.
Among the options Roberts has after those two starters are Lance Lynn, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan and Ryan Yarbrough, who is drawing the start on Thursday in Colorado in what will likely be a piggyback game. That kind of scenario is a possibility for Roberts in the later stages of the NLDS and beyond.
“I think that they’re all in the same bucket,” Roberts told reporters when asked about pitcher usage in the postseason. “Looking at the postseason extending a few of the pitchers you named (and we listed above) to 75-90 pitches tops. I don’t think that you’re going to need much more than that from a particular guy.
“I think it’s important to be able to give hitters various looks and different arms. I think the length beyond 80-90 pitches, I just don’t see really happening outside of a couple of times.”
Those “couple of times” could be more with Kershaw or Miller than any of the pitchers mentioned above. However, surprises are often plentiful in October baseball, so how Roberts uses those arms could be very game-dependent as well.
Lynn has started all 10 games he has appeared in with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade deadline deal. He has also pitched in 27 postseason games during his 12-year MLB career so it’s possible he could draw one of the starts before handing off to whoever is coming out of the bullpen.