Dodgers Spring Training News: Gavin Stone & Michael Grove Pitching In Cactus League Opener

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The Los Angeles Dodgers begin Cactus League play on Thursday against the San Diego Padres to open their 2024 Spring Training Schedule that leads up to their trip to Seoul, South Korea, where they open the season.

There’s much excitement around the Dodgers this year after an aggressive offseason that saw them spend more than $1 billion to land the two top free agents available in Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. In addition, they also made other impact moves by acquiring Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernández and James Paxton while re-signing Jason Heyward, Ryan Brasier, Joe Kelly and Clayton Kershaw.

But even with all the anticipation of seeing the team on the field together, the Dodgers are not going to rush their A-squad onto the field in their Spring Training opener. That translates to their pitching staff as wel, with Yamamoto already ruled out from starting the first Cactus League game.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not announced his starting pitcher for the matchup at Peoria Sports Complex, but he did confirm Michael Grove and Gavin Stone will both pitch on Thursday, according to Kirsten Watson of SportsNet LA:

#Dodgers Cactus League games start on Thursday, against the Padres. No decision just yet on who will start, but Dave Roberts & Brandon Gomes have confirmed that Michael Grove and Gavin Stone will pitch.

— Kirsten Watson (@kirsten_watson) February 20, 2024

Expectations were high for Stone entering the 2023 season as he was rising as not only one of the best Dodgers pitching prospects, but one of the brightest young arms in all of baseball.

However, those expectations did not translate into results as Stone struggled with Triple-A Oklahoma City and at the Major League level.

He finished the season with a 9.00 ERA, 6.64 FIP and 1.90 WHIP across 31 innings pitched for the Dodgers. Stone struck out 6.39 hitters per nine, walked 3.77 per nine and gave up 2.32 homers per full game pitched.

Despite the tough season, the Dodgers remain high on the right-hander, who should be better this year.

Grove ended up taking a spot in the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation last year after injuries to Tony Gonsolin and Ryan Pepiot. Unfortunately, he made just four starts before going on the 15-day injured list because of a right groin strain suffered in an April 20 outing against the Chicago Cubs.

The right-hander remained on the IL until being activated June 3 to face the New York Yankees. Grove then landed back on the IL in early August because of right lat tightness.

He didn’t return until late September and despite only making three relief appearances to close out the regular season, Grove was included on the Dodgers’ playoff roster for the National League Division Series.

He finished the season going 2-3 with a 6.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 18 games (12 starts). The Dodgers valued his versatility and success with pitching out of the bullpen, which Grove did twice in October.

Dodgers starters for South Korea games

Roberts also confirmed the plan is for Glasnow and Yamamoto to start in some order during the Seoul Series.

Glasnow and Yamamoto have already faced batters during Dodgers Spring Training workouts at Camelback Ranch, with the latter garnering plenty of praise from teammates.

It’s unclear when either right-hander will make their Cactus League debut with the Dodgers.

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