Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Ryan Pepiot again has been added to the Los Angeles Dodgers roster as the permitted 27th player for a doubleheader. Pepiot joined the team Thursday for the second game against the Cleveland Guardians.
Pepiot made his 2023 Dodgers debut last Saturday in the afternoon matchup of a split doubleheader at Dodger Stadium with the Miami Marlins. He pitched five innings, collected five strikeouts and allowed one run upon coming in after Caleb Ferguson started as an opener.
Ferguson is serving as the opener against the Guardians as well. The appearance is his first since blowing a lead in the series opener at Progressive Field, which left Ferguson frustrated but determined to be prepared when next asked to pitch.
For Pepiot, it’s another opportunity to make his case to replace Tony Gonsolin in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts identified Pepiot, along with Ryan Yarbrough and Gavin Stone as the top candidates to become the fifth starter.
Though, Roberts acknowledged the club is somewhat hesitant to take Yarbrough out of his swingman role because of the value he provides with being able to pitch multiple innings more than once per week.
Considering the Dodgers finished out the first game of the doubleheader by using six relief pitchers, it stands to reason their preferred plan would be for Ferguson, Pepiot and Yarbrough covering most, if not all, of the series finale.
Ryan Pepiot relieved to be back
Pepiot was poised to be part of the rotation and make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the first time in his career but a left oblique strain instead forced him to the 15-day injured list.
Pepiot was confident he would make a quick return, only to then have lingering discomfort and trouble whenever throwing off a mound.
“Originally we thought it was just the oblique, but it ended up being intercostal, up in the ribcage,” Pepiot recalled. “It was surprising, but it wasn’t really going away. Each day I’d be coming in and they’d ask if I feel any better and I’m like, ‘A little bit,’ but when I went to throw I just couldn’t do it.
“Then having some imaging done, we got more answers and it made sense.”
While the recovery process took longer than expected, Pepiot is glad to be healthy and expressed a willingness to take on any role the Dodgers need.
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