July 12, 2017
The 10-Day DL and Six Degrees of the Dodgers Rotation
When the 10-day DL reemerged into our collective consciousness, the idea was relatively simple. Teams wanted to maintain roster flexibility while also protecting their players from “gutting it out” through lingering injuries that might not warrant missing two full weeks of the season. A secondary function of the new, abbreviated DL has unearthed itself over the first half of the season. The shorter DL trips have allowed teams to manipulate the traditional five-man starting rotation, and nobody has gamed the system quite like the Dodgers.
Left-hip contusion. Blister. Soreness in left (non-throwing) shoulder. Another blister. Hamstring Tightness. Left-shoulder inflammation. Right-knee tendonitis. Sore foot. More blisters (probably).
Dodgers’ starting pitchers have made eight separate trips to the DL, citing injuries more commonly associated with a seniors’ nine-hole golf league than a major-league pitching staff. As it turns out, it’s a good idea to give extra days off to starters that have been pegged as injury prone. Even with numerous trips to the DL, the Dodgers are the only team in baseball to have six pitchers make 12 or more starts (the Mariners have gotten starts from 13 different pitchers, which doesn’t really fit in here, but just... wow). The Dodgers’ rotation ranks third in baseball with a 3.83 DRA, trailing only the Nationals and Diamondbacks. They also lead the league in WAR from starting pitchers, which is not necessarily fantasy-centric, but impressive nonetheless.