Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Gavin Stone is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top pitching prospects, but the start to his MLB career has been far below expectations that granted were lofty.
The 24-year-old has taken the ball three times, but he has thrown just 10 total innings with only five strikeouts, in addition to a 14.40 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
Stone has faced three of the best lineups in baseball so far with outings against the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays, but his best start saw him leave the game with an ERA of 9.00.
In his most recent game on Sunday against the Rays, Stone pitched just two innings and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits.
Manager Dave Roberts said the rookie’s struggles have forced the Dodgers to consider a change in their starting rotation, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“Given how today went, it’s prudent to just reassess and make sure that whatever we do is best for Gavin and best for us,” Roberts said, noting that fellow rookie Michael Grove could offer the Dodgers another rotation option.
“We’ll all get together and figure out the best course of action,” Roberts added. “Because I think, like most things, you could debate either way. So that’s what we’ll have to figure out.”
Although Stone has not yet figured it out at the Major League level, the confidence remains in him to figure out what is going wrong. Still, he may be best served by some more time with Triple-A Oklahoma City:
“Right now I know he’s down in the dumps, but he’ll be all right,” Roberts said.
If the Dodgers decide to replace him in their rotation, Michael Grove would be the likely candidate as he finishes up his rehab assignment. Ultimately, the Dodgers will have to decide if Stone is better off continuing to develop at the Major League level or not:
“We’ll see,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to speak too far ahead, but we have some time to kind of reassess what’s best for Gavin.”
Stone was inserted into the Dodgers starting rotation earlier this month when Dustin May suffered a right flexor pronator strain that forced him to the 15-day injured list before he was later transferred to the 60-day IL.
The expectation was Stone would remain in that spot for the foreseeable future, and that was made even more likely when Julio Urías was also placed on the 15-day IL.
However, with Bobby Miller impressing in two starts and Grove close to returning, the Dodgers might decide they have better options.
Urías return to Dodgers rotation delayed
Urías’ hamstring strain was not believed to be serious, and furthermore, there was no expectation it would affect him long-term. With the IL-stint retroactive to May 19, Urías is eligible to be activated on June 3, but that currently seems to be in question.
Urías was due to test his hamstring during a bullpen session at Tropicana Field, but is still dealing with soreness that limited him to throwing from flat ground.
Thus, Roberts said Urías is no longer on track to be activated once immediately eligible as he still needs to get through a bullpen session and facing batters.
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