The Dodgers have made major waves three times this offseason and all involved the pitching staff, at least eventually. One of the moves, obviously, was signing Shohei Ohtani, who won’t pitch in 2024 after undergoing what late last season. Still, he’ll be back for the 2025 season on the mound, so landing him along with Tyler Glasnow ( ) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto ( ) long-term means the Dodgers filled in 60% of their 2025 rotation in a matter of weeks.
Speaking of that rotation, let’s take a look at how it shapes up both for next season and 2025.
As we run through this, it’ll become evident that while the Dodgers have a lot of pitching talent on board for the 2024 season, there are plenty of question marks. Negative answers to those questions would cause some headaches in the short term. Getting those questions answered during next season, however, will pave the way for an absurdly deep and loaded 2025 rotation. You’ll see.
Yamamoto certainly looks like an. He’s one of the most decorated pitchers in NPB history and he’s only 25 years old. His fastball sits mid-90s and tops out around 99. He also excellently commands a high-whiff splitter and a tight curveball. The most likely scenario is he doesn’t take much time to acclimate to the majors and looks like an ace most — if not all — of the season.
But it’s still a major transition. There’s only one time zone in Japan and the starters only go once a week. Factor in uprooting his entire life to move across the globe and it’s easy to see how things could go awry for Yamamoto early.
Glasnow has long had top-shelf stuff. From 2019 to present, he has a 3.03 ERA (137 ERA+) and 1.01 WHIP with 12.5 K/9. He’s more than a full season removed from Tommy John surgery, so there shouldn’t be any concerns there. Of course, the 120 innings he threw last season marked a career high. He debuted in 2016 and is 30 years old. That he hasn’t had more of a workload to this point in his career is definitely a red flag.
Walker Buehler is a two-time All-Star who finished fourth in Cy Young voting in 2021. He’s had the look of ace for much of his career. He’s also coming off Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 10, 2022. We’ve seen Justin Verlander return from TJ to win a Cy Young the next season, but we’ve also seen plenty of…