Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers to Use Playoff-Exclusive Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are still waiting for their free-agent payday, while the Dodgers and Atlanta took different routes to address their need for starting pitching. The Dodgers signed Yoshinubu Yamamoto, who has never pitched in the majors, and will not have Shohei Ohtani until 2024. Meanwhile, the trade route was taken by both teams to acquire Tyler Glasnow and Chris Sale, who do not have to carry a full load in the regular season.

The intentions for both teams become clearer when considering their performances last October. Atlanta was one starter short due to an injury to Charlie Morton, while the Dodgers only had a half-baked Clayton Kershaw. Both teams are purchasing insurance with pitchers who are not expected to carry a full load in the regular season. Sale hasn’t seen over 150 innings in six years, and Glasnow never has. They don’t handle innings well.

The Dodgers and Atlanta don’t have to worry much, especially Atlanta. They have enough pitchers to make up for Sale’s limitations. Atlanta’s priority is to make sure Sale is ready for the playoffs, where his skills can shine. Glasnow is dominant when he’s on the mound, and the Dodgers don’t have to worry about their playoff availability.

The Dodgers want to have another dominant starter, hence the trade for Glasnow. Both Glasnow and Sale are likely to have shorter starts during the regular season, IL trips for minor issues, and six-man rotations in the hotter months to keep them healthy. The goal is to watch both pitchers perform well in the postseason.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky