I'm going to have a great challenge ahead of me. Pitching wins ball games. I know we lost good starting pitchers in Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, and Greg Maddux (who retired).
We currently have Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Clayton Kershaw. I'm assuming that the signing of Claudio Vargas means he will be slotted in the starting rotation. Not if I'm running the show.
Right away I will sign Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract. It looks like the Yankees are moving on without him. Joe Torre can convince him to come to the West Coast. I believe Pettitte still has it. He's 36 years old and had a 14-14 record last season with a 4.44 ERA I'm sure he will have a lower ERA by pitching in the National League.
Now for the fifth spot. I will sign Oliver Perez. I believe he has yet to reach his potential. He is 26 years old and about to emerge. He can strike out hitters often and even though his stats have not been that great, I believe he can succeed in Dodger Stadium. He is not my ideal starter but all I'm asking is to perform within your abilities and be our fifth starter.
My five-man rotation would go like this: Billingsley, Pettitte, Kuroda, Kershaw, and Perez. Yes, I'm giving the Opening Day start to Billingsley. It's time for him to become the ace. Pettite will be a good choice at the second start. I like Kuroda at third because it won't give much pressure for Kershaw and Perez.
On to the bullpen.
I'm not going to sign Joe Beimel. I was told I can't because of money issues. So I have to look at other options.
I like the Bullpen more than the starting pitching. Even with Jonathan Broxton closing. I feel this is the year that Broxton becomes that powerful closer we have visioned in the last couple of years. He knows it's his job now.
I won't make any signings unless an injury or a bad performance occurs during Spring Training.
Cory Wade, Ramon Troncoso, and Hong-Chi Kuo are in. I will have Vargas in the Bullpen with Rookie Scott Elbert.
That's a total of 11 pitchers. Torre will decide if he wants to open up the season with 11 or 12 pitchers.
Many things have to align correctly. But this pitching staff has potential. If it fails, I can always make a trade before July 31.