The Dodgers lost Dustin May to a flexor pronator strain yesterday. That injury is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks, leaving a vacancy in the starting five. L.A. manager Dave Roberts addressed the rotation before today’s loss to the Cardinals.
Roberts noted the club was likely to recall top pitching prospect Gavin Stone to take the open rotation spot (Twitter thread via Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times). Stone and Michael Grove are the only pitchers to take a start outside of the Dodgers’ expected top five of Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin, Noah Syndergaard and May.
Grove has been on the 15-day injured list for nearly a month thanks to a groin strain. He’s with the club on the taxi squad and could be reinstated within the next few days, although Roberts suggested he was likelier to step into the relief corps immediately. Grove has been throwing in extended Spring Training but hasn’t gone out on a minor league rehab assignment.
Meanwhile, the club provided an unfortunate update on right-hander Ryan Pepiot. The Butler product was expected to take the fifth spot out of camp with Gonsolin opening the year on the IL. He suffered a brutally timed oblique strain at the end of Spring Training, however, sending him to the 60-day IL. Pepiot has still yet to throw from a mound as he continues to battle side soreness, and Roberts indicated he was unlikely to be back until around the All-Star Break (via Harris).
Stone is the logical choice to come back up. He struggled in his major league debut earlier in the season, allowing five runs in four innings. The 24-year-old has been strong for Triple-A Oklahoma City, pitching to a 4.04 ERA with a quality 27.5% strikeout rate over 35 2/3 frames in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Alongside Stone, Bobby Miller is one of the sport’s most touted minor league pitchers and has reached Triple-A. He’s made just four starts after being delayed in Spring Training and been tagged for 13 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Unsurprisingly, Roberts suggested the Dodgers want Miller to keep getting reps in Oklahoma City rather than garnering consideration for a short-term call. Miller is not yet on the 40-man roster.