Speculation is everywhere about who will be the fourth and fifth starters in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ busy rotation. Chad Billingsley is up against some good competition and has the ability to fill either slot. But in Major League Baseball, ability alone may not get the job done. This last spot in the rotation may be hard to get.
Face it, the Dodgers are loaded with starting pitchers. With Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw at number one and Zach Greinke firmly in the second slot, Dodger pitching is locked up. Right now, Hyun-Jin Ryu is in the third slot, and that leaves Josh Beckett or Billingsley as the fourth and fifth starters. But there are variables to consider. What if Beckett can’t find his form or reinvent himself in LA? Ryu is also not a proven MLB starter.
Billingsley could very well be fourth starter, with Beckett in the fifth spot. If Beckett pitches lights out like he is capable of in the beginning of the year, then he would easily move up the list. Any struggles for Billingsley and he could slide down to the fifth or be replaced by Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, or Aaron Harang.
It’s amazing what the Dodgers did in just one year to their starting rotation. By bringing in all that talent, Billingsley went from a lock as a starter to a huge question mark. Add to that his last few years of barely breaking a .500 win percentage, and Billingsley must have a good year to stick around.
He is signed through 2014, and Billingsley has great ability. But he must find his stuff and get back to his 16 win season of 2008. If not, it will be difficult for him to break into the starting rotation with all the talent around him.