Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
In 2021, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a trade with the Miami Marlins that has worked out incredibly well for them, sending Dylan Floro east in exchange for pitching prospects Kyle Hurt and Alex Vesia.
Vesia has of course been a key member of the Dodgers bullpen for the past three seasons, despite some struggles this year, while Hurt dominated the Minor Leagues en route to making his MLB debut on Tuesday.
The Dodgers selected Hurt’s contract prior to the game amid a season where he posted the highest strikeout rate in the Minor Leagues between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
“It was a pretty crazy last 24 hours, to be honest with you,” Hurt said. “I got a phone call pretty late [Monday] night from Trav, the Triple-A manager told me I was coming here. It was pretty exciting. I stayed up for a while thinking about it. It was a great feeling though.
“It was really cool. It was a long day traveling and all that but it was awesome being on that field.”
Hurt, who grew up in the San Diego area, was able to face his hometown team, and the close proximity allowed him to have a support group to see his debut, including his parents, his girlfriend, agent and some close friends.
“Very special,” Hurt said of having them in attendance. “I’ve been talking with my buddies for a long time about this, and my family, everybody. It’s just so cool for them to be a part of it.”
Hurt ended up pitching two perfect innings while striking out the side in the ninth. Although the nerves were high, he received some helpful advice from his teammates.
“Every single guy in the bullpen that talked to me during the game just said, ‘Be yourself. Be yourself. Don’t change a thing,’” Hurt shared. “And that’s exactly what I did.”
Hurt’s rise to the MLB level this season may have been unlikely with a crowded Dodgers’ pitching staff, multiple prospects ranked higher than him and beginning the year in Double-A, but his presence on the roster became more of a necessity due to the injuries and struggles their staff has endured.
“It all happens very fast,” Hurt said. “So just to get the opportunity, I’m very pleased and very happy.”
Kyle Hurt challenged in MLB debut
The first three hitters Hurt was tasked with facing would have been a challenge to even the top arms in the game with Fernando Tatís Jr., Juan Soto and Manny Machado due up.
“I mean, I didn’t dream about facing those kind of guys as a kid,” Hurt said. “But I dreamed about being up here, for sure. That was definitely really cool facing those guys. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
The right-hander made quick work of the trio, retiring Tatís on a fly out before getting Soto and Machado to ground out. His first strikeout came in the ninth inning against Garrett Cooper.
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