Dodgers Prospect Watch: What Lies Ahead for Michael Grove in 2023?

With righty Tony Gonsolin likely to begin the season on the injured list with a left ankle sprain, the Los Angeles Dodgers will need to dip into their plentiful stockpile of young starting pitchers to round out their Opening Day rotation.

At the moment, it looks like the team will award the final rotation spot to either Ryan Pepiot or Michael Grove, both of whom made their MLB debuts for the club last year.

While the 25-year-old right-handed Pepiot is among the organization’s blue-chippers with a No. 6 team prospect ranking on MLB Pipeline, the righty Grove may be a bit of a dark horse candidate to slide in ahead of everyone else.

Prospect or Minor League Journeyman?

Grove is 26 years old, meaning he’s right on the fringe of exiting the prospect stage. He’s currently ranked No. 24 on the team’s prospect list with a whole slew of other pitchers ahead of him, including names like Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Nick Nastrini, Emmet Sheehan and Nick Frasso.

However, Grove has big league experience under his belt and is on the organization’s 40-man roster, putting him ahead of just about anyone on the list, sans Pepiot. During his time in the majors last season, Grove made six starts and threw 29-1/3 innings, registering a 4.60 ERA with 24 punchouts and 10 walks. His best outing came against the St. Louis Cardinals in late September when he threw five full innings and surrendered just one earned run on three hits, notching his first big-league win.

Grove has shown a few flashes of brilliance in Cactus League play so far, but his overall numbers have been mediocre at best. In his last appearance against the White Sox on Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound West Virginia native went 3-2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out six batters. One of those hits was a leadoff long ball by Chicago outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

Grove has posted a 4.38 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP alongside an impressive 14:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12-1/3 innings this spring. Meanwhile, Pepiot has a 2.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 13:3 K:BB. Pepiot is currently dealing with a minor side injury, but he’s expected to make his next spring start this week.

Scouting Report

According to MLB Pipeline, Grove “owns a pair of high-spin breaking balls with depth that lack consistency but can overwhelm hitters when they’re on, with his slider that can reach the upper 80s grading better than his low-80s curveball. He doesn’t have much trust in his changeup yet, which has some fade at times but usually lacks much life or velocity separation from his fastball.”

With a heater that can top out as high as 97-98 MPH, Grove has all the tools he needs to succeed. However, command will be the deciding factor whether he establishes himself as a reliable starting option. According to Brooks Baseball, the right-hander used four different pitches last year in the bigs, including a fourseam, a change, a slider and a curve.

2023 Outlook

If Pepiot is indeed selected to the Opening Day roster, Grove will be ready as the next starting pitcher up, staying fresh at Triple-A Oklahoma City in the meantime.

Gonsolin’s inclusion on the Opening Day injured list doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers this early, but by giving the youngsters a chance to show their stuff early and often, it could help the team decide whether it needs to pursue any high-quality starting pitching options before the summer trade deadline.

Dodgers News and Notes: Freeman Injury Update and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers now find themselves just two weeks away from the start of the 2023 season.

Several of the Dodgers players have been participating in the World Baseball Classic. Team USA, with Mookie Betts and Will Smith, and Team Mexico, with Julio Urías and Austin Barnes, have both moved on to the second round.

Teams Canada and Great Britain did not advance, meaning that Freddie Freeman and Trayce Thompson are both back at Dodgers camp.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: What Lies Ahead for Ryan Pepiot?

One of the first evaluations almost every Dodgers fan makes heading into Cactus League play is the quality of the major league starting rotation. Los Angeles is almost always in the MLB Top 10 to start the year, but more times than not, the starting five has an entirely different look as the home stretch of the regular season approaches.

The 2023 campaign probably will be no different.

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Should Dodgers Try to Extend Julio Urias?

Aside from bringing back veteran utility infielder Miguel Rojas, not much has happened on the Los Angeles Dodgers player personnel front since the team officially bounced Trevor Bauer from the roster last week.

Although the club is on the hook for the approximately $22.5 million of Bauer’s 2022 salary, all indications are that the team will attempt to stay under the luxury tax threshold for the upcoming season. A move last week that somewhat affected the budget was an agreement on a one-year, $14.25 million deal with starter Julio Urias, allowing the 26-year-old lefty to avoid the arbitration process in his final season before free agency.

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Dodgers Designate Trevor Bauer for Assignment

Trigger warning – sexual abuse content

A decision has finally been made in the Trevor Bauer case. On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers designated Bauer for assignment. They will now have seven days to trade him or release him from the organization. His time with the Dodgers organization has come to an end.

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Dodgers Sign Noah Syndergaard, Other News and Notes

The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally making some moves this winter, although they are not big and splashy like some of their counterpart teams.

The Dodgers have passed on pretty much all of the top free agents of this year. Justin Verlander went to the Mets. Aaron Judge re-signed with the Yankees. Trea Turner returned to the East Coast to play for the Phillies. And most recently, Carlos Correa signed a 13-year deal with play with the rival San Francisco Giants.

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Clayton Kershaw Re-signs with Dodgers and Other Early Winter Meeting Notes

All is right with the world, for a moment anyway, when Clayton Kershaw is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On Monday, the team announced that they have re-signed Kershaw to a one-year, $20 million contract, with a $5 million signing bonus.

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Dodgers News and Notes- Gonsolin Returns, Chris Taylor Neck Issues, and More

Welcome to the last few days of stress free Los Angeles Dodgers baseball for the 2022 season!

The Dodgers have their last three games of the season, at home, continuing what is essentially a six game series with the Colorado Rockies. So far, the Dodgers have won two of three from their NL West counterparts.

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Dodgers Injury News and Notes: Tony Gonsolin, Blake Treinen and More

The 2022 regular season will be over a week from today, on Wednesday, Oct 4th. The Los Angeles Dodgers are still treading water, just trying to keep in shape, in game mode, and not getting injured.

Last weekend, Craig Kimbrel was officially demoted from the closer position. Tuesday night, he blew another game, allowing the winning run to score in the bottom of the tenth inning. Not only did he allow the winning run, he walked in that run with the bases loaded.

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Early Thoughts on Dodgers Postseason Pitching Options

Two weeks from today ends the 2022 regular season. Two weeks left for the Los Angeles Dodgers to decide who will be on the postseason roster, work out any kinks, and, most importantly, stay healthy.

The Dodgers currently sit at 103 wins, three shy of their all time record. As we’ve mentioned before, that record is bound to fall.

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