Our friend Connor Byrne at MLBTR was among the first to report the news. Los Angeles apparently made the move on Thursday.
Lovegrove was snagged as a minor league free agent and will provide even more bullpen depth on the Dodgers’ farm. Based on the progression of his career, it’s probably safe to say the 25-year-old righty will begin his 2020 campaign somewhere around the High-A or Double-A level.
If his last name sounds a bit peculiar, it’s because he was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He played cricket at an extremely young age, which his perhaps when his love for a ball and a bat began.
Lovegrove and his family moved to the United States when he was five years old, settling in Orange County near Mission Viejo. As a youngster, he was a member of the Saddleback Coyotes little league team that won the 2005 National Cooperstown Tournament of Champions in New York, where he also won the shortstop skills competition.
While in high school, he started with his family a non-profit charity, Going To Bat, as a way to get baseball equipment to poorer countries like his native South Africa.
He was selected by the Indians right out of high school in the third round of the 2012 MLB draft, making him the 111th overall pick.
Over the course of his eight-year, minor league career, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Lovegrove has posted an 18-29 record with a 4.99 ERA alongside 308 punchouts and 196 walks over 354-1/3 innings of work. He has appeared in 181 total games, 138 of which were in relief.
Last year, he threw in the Giants’ minor league system, advancing as high as Double-A Richmond in the Eastern League. Over the entirety of his 2019 campaign, he made 20 relief appearances and tallied a not-so-impressive 9.00 ERA with a whopping 24 walks and 27 strikeouts over 26 full innings.
Perhaps his best minor league season came in 2018 when he recorded a 2.73 ERA with 66 strikeouts over 41 relief appearances and 59-1/3 frames across three levels of the Cleveland farm. He represented the World Team in the 2018 Futures Game.
As far as Lovegrove’s repertoire goes, he is best known for his heater, which sits right around 96 MPH while frequently approaching triple digits.
“My fastball is a four-seam, but something about the way I pronate makes it two-seam at times,” explained Lovegrove back in 2018. “When it’s down, it registers as a sinker at around 2,500 RPM. I wish I knew why it does what it does, but it’s working for me right now, and that’s what matters.”
Los Angeles designated Garlick for assignment on Tuesday to create roster space after the Mookie Betts trade with the Red Sox.
Gilbert is a 26-year-old bullpen piece who was selected by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft. He spent all of last season at the Triple-A level, tallying a 2.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 47-2/3 innings.
Gilbert’s fastball tops out at around 93 MPH, but he added a cutter last year which continues to develop nicely. He is solid against lefty hitters, but the cutter has given him a weapon against right-handers as well. Scouts don’t see him as a high leverage reliever anytime soon, but he may prove to be valuable as middle relief depth in the interim.
Gilbert has all three minor league options remaining on his contract.