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 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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Dodgers Sweep Marlins, Prepare for Rematch Against Brewers

The Dodgers took care of the Marlins on Sunday in a convincing 10-3 victory, securing the series sweep and maintaining an 18-game lead over the second-place Padres in the NL West.

Righty starter Ryan Pepiot was solid for Los Angeles in picking up his second career win, throwing six full innings while surrendering two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

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Which Pitching Prospect Will Emerge First for Dodgers?

So far this season, we have already seen 25 different pitchers appear for the Los Angeles Dodgers in some capacity — 26 if you count Hanser Alberto’s outing on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. Last year, there were 39 pitchers to throw for the Dodgers, indicating that fans could be in store for even more new faces as the 2022 season progresses.

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David Price Trade Rumors and Ryan Pepiot’s Potential MLB Debut

After sweeping the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the opening game of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The loss ended their six-game winning streak, as well as a 16-game winning streak against the Pirates. Such games are bound to happen, especially in an early game after a long flight.

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Dodgers Prospects Who Could Make MLB Debuts in 2022

Through nearly the first month of the 2022 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves having one of the top records in the majors. To no surprise, that was expected with a team that has so many high caliber players.

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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.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: How Far Away Is Ryan Pepiot?

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

While there’s no doubt Max Scherzer improves the starting pitching rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, there are still several questions remaining as the month of August kicks into full gear.

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Josiah Gray’s Major League Debut Edging Closer

(Photo credit: Oklahoma City Dodgers)

Although it remains unclear whether the Los Angeles Dodgers will make any significant player deals before this summer’s MLB trade deadline, the team might see an internal upgrade with the prospective debut of righty pitching prospect Josiah Gray.

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Dodgers Starting Rotation: 4 Possible Solutions for Second Half of 2021 Season

(Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

On Saturday night, fans, coaches, managers, and players of the Los Angeles Dodgers reveled in a 22-run outburst against the lowly Diamondbacks, once again showing how schizophrenic the offense can be from one night to the next. On the pitching front, not only was Walker Buehler effective, but he also gave his bullpen somewhat of a rest by going six full innings. However, despite productive games like these, it still doesn’t solve the club’s current starting pitching dilemma.

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