Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Hours after manager Dave Roberts confirmed Tony Gonsolin would not be included on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster, Ryan Pepiot took the mound at Sloan Park to continue his bid to fill the void in the starting rotation.
Pepiot and Michael Grove were identified as the early favorites under consideration if Gonsolin was going to begin the 2023 season on the 15-day injured list, and Andre Jackson has entered the discussion as well.
Pepiot is widely regarded as having a leg up on his fellow right-handers, and he was sharp over three innings of work against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
However, Roberts revealed to Kirsten Watson that Pepiot’s start was cut short due to feeling some discomfort, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“He felt something with his side. Kind of something in the midsection of his body. We just felt after that long third inning, we felt it was smart to put on that next inning and get him ready for his next start.”
The initial belief was Pepiot came out of the game due to the Dodgers erupting for eight runs in a long fourth inning. It’s not uncommon for teams to make a pitching change under those circumstances, particularly during Spring Training.
Pepiot held the Cubs to just one run and finished with four strikeouts. The plan had been for the 25-year-old to stretch out to four innings in his fourth Cactus League start of the year.
With a surplus of pitchers available, the Dodgers could look to get Pepiot an extra day or two of rest to fully ensure what’s believed to be a minor issue doesn’t evolve into more of a long-term injury.
Ryan Pepiot feeling comfortable
Now in big league camp for the third time and having made his MLB debut last season, Pepiot is in a much more relaxed state of mind.
“I’ve developed some good relationships with some of the guys in here, so I feel more comfortable,” he told DodgerBlue.com.
“I feel more comfortable being able to go up and talk to everybody and I’ve been able to keep in contact during the offseason with some guys.”
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