Triple-A Oklahoma City Names Opening Day Starter

As the big-league club continues to put the finishing touches on its 2022 Opening Day roster, the minor league affiliates are following suit.

The Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers announced on Sunday that 24-year-old righty Ryan Pepiot will take the mound at home on Tuesday night against the Albuquerque Isotopes at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Broadcaster Alex Freedman also reported that 25-year-old right-hander Andre Jackson will start Thursday’s game, but he gave no indication who might start the second game on Wednesday night.

Early in camp, it looked like Mitch White might be a contender for the OKC rotation, but it appears that the 27-year-old San Jose native could be a legitimate contender for a big-league roster spot, especially since MLB clubs will open the year with 28 players on their active rosters.

The door is wide open for the remainder of the Oklahoma City rotation among an experienced group of NRIs like Robbie Erlin, Jon Duplantier, Beau Burrows and Yefry Ramirez.

The 31-year-old Erlin has appeared in 115 games in the majors, most recently pitching for the Braves in 2020. Last year, the southpaw spent the season in Japan throwing for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Duplantier is a 27-year-old righty who made four starts for the Braves last year, going 0-3 with a whopping 13.15 ERA.

Burrows, 25, was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. The righty made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2020 and pitched to a 5.40 ERA across five appearances while making just one start last year. The Dodgers signed Burrows to a minors deal during the lockdown in late November.

Ramirez falls into the boat with other guys like Carson Fulmer and Mike Wright, who could end up going as either a starter or a reliver. Ramirez made 22 starts for OKC last season and ended up getting his MLB debut with the Dodgers in relief against the Diamondbacks last August.

If White ends up making the big-league active roster, it most likely means that Jackson could be the first arm the team calls up if there’s a need for starting pitching, at least until David Price is ready or the league decides what will happen with Trevor Bauer.

There could be more starting pitching options as veterans like Danny Duffy and Jimmy Nelson eventually get healthy. Yesterday, we talked about Dustin May’s potential contributions if he’s able to return later in the summer.

Bobby Miller, one of the organization’s top prospects and the starter in the Freeway Series finale against the Angels Tuesday, is likely to begin his season at Double-A Tulsa alongside other blue chippers like Landon Knack and Michael Grove.

12 thoughts on “Triple-A Oklahoma City Names Opening Day Starter

  1. Dodgers have a bevy of young arms that are ready or almost ready for prime time. I hope they Dodgers do not trade or sign anymore pitching as I would like to see the young arms given a legitimate shot. By next year we should see Miller & Pepiot. I am very curious about Fulmer’s progress. He threw a few good innings on the major field this spring. Fulmer was very effective at Vandy and was considered a can’t miss prospect. Fulmer still has a ton of talent I think between Buehler and the Dodger coaches they will straighten him out. As reported May is progressing well and I bet Bauer is available early this season.

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    1. What?? I’m sure I heard roberts say Heaney has earned his spot on the starting rotation ( dispite his 18.7 era). Oh wait. He was told to say that by the GM because of the $7 mil contract.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AAA is 4A. With the exception of Pepiot, our best prospects are elsewhere.

    “Defense wins Championships”. Jack

    Pitching is a huge part of defense. I’d like to believe we have that. The rest of that defense doesn’t look so hot.

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  3. There is a reason I do not make roster predictions, I am usually wrong. I had thought that Jake Lamb was going to make the team, but he was optioned to AAA today.

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  4. I shouldn’t make predictions either bear, I thought with the trade of Pollock, that Pillar would make the opening day roster.

    So if I’m seeing this right, the Dodgers will have 12 field players, and 16 freakin pitchers. If you don’t count the backup catcher, or the DH, they will have two bench players. Amazing how the game is evolving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought the same. So on May 1 either Pillar or Lamb will likely be promoted.

      On a sad note, Tommy Davis passed at age 83. Would have been deemed a Dodger great if not for injury. He was the last full season Dodger batting champion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He won it twice in a row, 1962 and 63. I met him when I was a kid living in a home for children in Highland Park. Larry and Norm Sherry lived on the street, Ave.66 just a couple houses from the home. When our new rec building was being dedicated, Larry and Norm showed up with Tommy D. I got to talk hitting with him for about an hour. So cool for a 11 year old. Larry and Norm would have us kids shag balls for them before they headed for Vero. There was a park called Arroyo Seco. It had a full sized ballfield. I met Tommy again at one of those Sunday games where the Dodgers had players in the stands signing autographs. I was a grown man then, but he signed my first baseman’s mitt that I used for softball. RIP Tommy. One of the best hitters I ever saw.

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