Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Once it became apparent Tony Gonsolin would not be part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the 2023 season, Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot were left to compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
Both performed well throughout Spring Training but Pepiot demonstrated a bit more consistency that earned him the job. However, Pepiot suffered what amounted to an oblique and intercostal injury in his final tuneup, which led to Grove being on the Dodgers roster for Opening Day.
Unfortunately for the right-hander, he made just four starts before going on the 15-day injured list because of a right groin strain suffered in an April 20 outing against the Chicago Cubs.
Grove remained on the IL until being activated June 3 to face the New York Yankees. He struggled throughout the month before finding improved results in July.
Grove then landed back on the IL in early August because of right lat tightness. He didn’t return until late September and despite only making three relief appearances to close out the regular season, Grove was included on the Dodgers’ playoff roster for the National League Division Series.
Overall throughout the regular season, Grove went 2-3 with a 6.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 18 games (12 starts). The Dodgers valued his versatility and success with pitching out of the bullpen, which Grove did twice in October. He allowed one run in Game 1 and pitched a scoreless inning in Game 3.
Michael Grove 2023 highlight
Grove’s best performance of the 2023 season came on July 18, when he held the Baltimore Orioles to just one run and collected four strikeouts across five innings pitched.
Another strong stretch for Grove came in the form of five scoreless innings across his three games in September. Each of the relief appearances was multiple innings.
The Dodgers are likely to hold Walker Buehler back at the beginning of the season, which as of the moment leaves them without a clear-cut fifth starter. Grove, Emmet Sheehan and Ryan Yarbrough figure to be among the top candidates to round out of the group.
If Grove does not make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for a second year in a row, he’ll likely begin the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City and be among the first options when the team needs to tap into their pitching depth.
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