Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Michael Grove appeared poised to begin the 2023 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but Ryan Pepiot’s oblique injury wound up bumping him into the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day rotation.
Grove made just four starts before going on the 15-day injured list himself because of a right groin strain. Grove deemed the injury relatively minor but he’s remained on the IL since April 21.
The 26-year-old recently began facing batters at Camelback Ranch but is yet to join a Minor League affiliate for a rehab assignment. Grove nevertheless met the Dodgers in St. Louis for the start of their road trip.
Manager Dave Roberts explained Grove is on the Dodgers’ taxi squad in the event more bullpen depth is needed, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“Michael is here, just to taxi. Still kind of getting out of the woods with the ‘pen. Obviously you guys saw that Bruihl is back and came back with the May injury, and then Andre Jackson is here for the Covey DFA. Michael Grove is here just if something happens tonight that if we need to activate him [Friday].”
Roberts commended Grove for taking the quick change in plans well and anticipates him ultimately settling in once able to prepare as a usual starter:
“Michael is a pro. It’s quick ramp-up as far as him being here. He threw a bullpen, I think, [Wednesday]. He’s here obviously for coverage, but it will be good for him to get back on some type of regular schedule.”
The Dodgers wound up needing multiple relief pitchers again Thursday night as Julio Urías only recorded nine outs and became their fourth consecutive starter to complete four innings or fewer.
Fortunately for L.A., Andre Jackson helped shoulder the bulk of the game by pitching 3.1 innings. He initially got through three scoreless innings, which was a factor in the Dodgers mounting a furious rally, but Jackson struggled in the eighth and the Cardinals went on to pull away.
It’s plausible the Dodgers will option Jackson to OKC on Friday and activate Grove in order to again add a fresh arm to the their bullpen.
Can Michael Grove replace Dustin May in Dodgers rotation?
Once Grove shifts back to a starter role, Roberts acknowledged it is possible he replaces Dustin May in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. However, the early favorite instead appears to be Gavin Stone.
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