Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot received an opportunity to make his MLB debut last season and with that came expected growing pains.
Pepiot showed flashes of the potential that had him ranked on several top prospects lists, but he routinely struggled to consistently limit walks and pitch deep into outings.
That was among the focal points for the right-hander during the offseason, and Spring Training has produced encouraging results thus far.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts praised Pepiot after he held the Kansas City Royals to one run over two innings, via SportsNet LA:
“To start off the night, I thought Ryan set the tone really well. I was excited with the way he threw the baseball. He worked real hard this winter on cleaning up the delivery, and that showed tonight. I thought everything he threw had conviction. The fastball really played up, pounded the strike zone. The changeup is something that he lives and dies by, but he also showed a nice breaking ball. So that was good to see. Got him through two innings, and that was a big plus.”
Although Pepiot allowed three hits over two innings of work, he did not walk a batter and collected four strikeouts. He attacked the Royals with a refined changeup and slider to go along with the fastball.
Pepiot now has not walked a batter in either of his Cactus League starts and continues to build pitch count.
Following his outing against the San Diego Padres, Pepiot said facing the likes of Manny Machado and Nelson Cruz would serve as a springboard for starts that followed.
What role will Ryan Pepiot have?
The Dodgers starting rotation for Opening Day currently does not project to include Pepiot, who is likely to begin another season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
However, the 25-year-old likely will be among the first options the Dodgers consider when in need of another pitcher, either due to injury or for a spot start.
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