Dodgers Prospects Ryan Pepiot & Michael Grove Options To Replace Tony Gonsolin In Opening Day Rotation

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The injury woes for the Los Angeles Dodgers continued in Spring Training when Tony Gonsolin sprained his ankle while walking off the field following a workout at Camelback Ranch.

The recovery time for the right-hander is expected to be a slow process, and that has Gonsolin likely to miss the start of the season.

Thus, it puts the Dodgers in need of an extra starter to open the season, and so far two names are standing out.

Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove have impressed in camp, and with Major League experience for both of them last season, manager Dave Roberts said the Dodgers are expected to turn to one of them for their Opening Day rotation, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think that’s fair,” Roberts said. “With those guys having some experience already (at the major-league level), seeing them as starters – having one of those guys fill that void is probably likely.”

Gonsolin started just one game this spring before the injury, which saw him throw 2.1 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels. The 28-year-old got through the outing unscathed despite allowing three hits and issuing two walks.

Grove appeared in seven games (six starts) for the Dodgers last season, finishing with a 4.60 ERA that was somewhat inflated after giving up four runs to the Colorado Rockies in his final appearance.

In the Minors, Grove went a combined 1-5 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 19 games (17 starts) with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Pepiot was one of the best pitchers this season in all of Triple-A’s Western Division, posting a 2.56 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 91.1 innings over 17 starts. At the Major League level, he made seven starts, with a 3.47 ERA across 36.1 innings pitched.

Dave Roberts impressed by Michael Grove

The Dodgers are stacked with right-handed pitching prospects, which has made Grove somewhat of a forgotten man. But wen asked if Grove is viewed within the organization as the same regard as Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone and Pepiot, Roberts answered, “Absolutely.”

“Michael did a nice job, given the circumstances, last year. But you see the uptick in velocity and he’s holding it, it’s a plus-plus curveball, the changeup is good, there’s a slider in there,” Roberts added.

“The more you see him, the more you like. He makes pitches when he needs to, he’s a great competitor and he’s worked hard to clean the delivery up and consistency of throw.”

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