Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
When the Los Angeles Dodgers faced a need for starting pitching depth last season, Ryan Pepiot was among the options they turned to at various points throughout the year.
Pepiot completed just three innings in his MLB debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the outing proved to be a microcosm of what was to come. The right-hander slowed flashes of his tantalizing potential while also struggling with command.
Whether making a string of starts or being called on for spot duty, Pepiot consistently failed to pitch deep into games. He did so against Miami Marlins on August 21, when Pepiot set career highs by completing six innings and throwing 97 pitches.
When reflecting on his debut season with the Dodgers, Pepiot recognized some of his struggles were attributed to pressing, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It was a combination of trying a little too hard, trying to do too much and not being myself, not knowing that me being me and just doing what I can do was enough,” the Dodgers’ pitching prospect said. “You get in this clubhouse and you’ve got these guys, then you go out there and you’re trying to earn respect, build a reputation so that everyone wants you around. Just trying to do too much. Then it was a little bit on the mechanical side.
“I kind of got away from what I do best and going out and attacking the (strike) zone. Everything was just leaking away from me and I couldn’t control it.”
Pepiot wound up going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in nine games (seven starts) with the Dodgers. His final two appearances with the team were both out of the bullpen.
While with Triple-A Oklahoma City, the former prospect went a stellar 9-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 19 games (17 starts).
Pepiot takes the mound Monday in a Cactus League start against the San Diego Padres. It’s an opportunity for the 25-year-old to show more of the growth that’s been on display during Spring Training workouts.
“Ryan is working on the delivery, which he did a lot of this winter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “His tempo has been really good and the misses aren’t as bad. He’s understanding how his delivery works.”
Ryan Pepiot hole-in-one
A handful of current and former Dodgers participated in the seventh annual Justin Turner Golf Classic, which saw Pepiot sink the first hole-in-one in the tournament’s history.
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