Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
A rash of injuries to the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has created opportunities for Michael Grove and Bobby Miller earlier than expected this season.
Grove was with the Dodgers on Opening Day due to Ryan Pepiot suffering a strained left oblique after his final start in Spring Training. As it was, Pepiot was due to fill in for Tony Gonsolin, who remained on the mend from a sprained left ankle.
Then while Grove was on the 15-day IL because of a right groin strain, along with Dustin May (right flexor pronator strain) and Julio Urías (left hamstring strain) being sidelined, the Dodgers needed to turn to Miller.
Still without May and in light of Noah Syndergaard now going on the IL because of prolonged struggles, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Grove and Miller both have an opportunity to make regular starts, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“Obviously it’s a five-man rotation. I think it gives more runway for Michael Grove and certainly with what Bobby is doing. So you’re looking at Julio coming back on Sunday, and we should be in a good spot.”
Prior to the Dodgers deciding to put Syndergaard on the IL, Roberts ruled out a six-man starting rotation once Urías is activate for his outing in the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Although Grove had an inflated 8.14 ERA entering Friday, he’s largely pitched well this season. Miller has been nothing short of impressive since making his MLB debut.
With Syndergaard expected to be out multiple weeks, and May and Pepiot not returning until after the All-Star break, the two Dodgers rookies are going to be heavily relied upon.
Michael Grove velocity increase
Grove used the time on IL to improve his mechanics and with that has come an increase in velocity. It’s most notable in Grove’s fastball that now hovers around 94-96 mph.
“Really just evaluating my delivery and how to use my legs a little bit better,” Grove explained after setting a season high with seven strikeouts. “It was nothing crazy. It was a small change, but it let me get behind the baseball a little bit better.”
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