Dodgers Spring Training: Michael Grove ‘Excited’ To Start Cactus League Opener

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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Michael Grove as the starter for the team’s Cactus League opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, with Matt Andriese and Bryan Hudson also expected to appear in the game at American Family Fields of Phoenix.

Grove is in Spring Training camp for a third time since being selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft. The right-hander made his MLB debut last season and is expected to be among the pitching depth the Dodgers rely on throughout 2023.

After spending time facing Dodgers teammates, Grove told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA he is looking forward seeing a true opponent and getting into a starter’s routine:

“I don’t think I’ve started a Cactus League game yet. So it’ll be nice to get back on my routine and face some guys in a different jersey. See how the pitches look, see how guys react to it. I’m excited for it.”

Grove added he’s in a strong position physically as preparation for the season continues:

“Good. I feel like my body is in a good spot. It’s been great seeing everybody again. Obviously really excited for the season, so it’s that time again.”

The 26-year-old previously appeared in two Cactus League games for the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee to 2021 Spring Training, and one last year when he was in big league camp after being added to their 40-man roster. As Grove noted, Saturday’s outing will be his first career start in Spring Training play.

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

While 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. Grove was promoted from the Drillers for his MLB debut, and the bulk of struggling at the Minor League level came upon getting optioned to Oklahoma City.

How Michael Grove fits in Dodgers’ plans

The Dodgers starting rotation for Opening Day largely appears set and should consist of Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard.

Behind them and ready to fill in whether due to injury or a spot start to provide extra rest are Grove, Ryan Pepiot and Andre Jackson.

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