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 – Tony Gonsolin Extended, 2023 Coaching Staff Announced

During arbitration, the Los Angeles Dodgers had reached agreement with every one of their eligible except for one. On Tuesday, the Dodgers and Tony Gonsolin agreed to a two-year contract, good through the 2024 season.

Gonsolin and the Dodgers had not been far apart in their asks during arbitration. Gonsolin filed at $3.4M, and the Dodgers countered with $3M.

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Dodgers Head to San Diego for Pivotal NLDS Game 3

If there’s one thing that we learned over the course of the first two games of the 2022 NLDS, it’s that the San Diego Padres have come ready to play. By no means have the Dodgers been performing well, but the Padres have shown they will not roll over easily the way they did in 14 of the 19 matchups during the regular season.

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Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Current Starting Rotation

While the starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the team’s most consistent strengths throughout the regular season, it has quickly become a potential postseason concern as multiple injuries will have at least some kind of impact.

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Tony Gonsolin Placed on 15-Day IL

First and foremost, I would like to apologize. I was just sitting down to write this post, and the thought in my head was about how all the Los Angeles Dodgers need to do from this point on is just stay healthy.

That was disrupted by the announcement that on Monday, the Dodgers placed right handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin on the 15-day IL, with right forearm strain. The placement is retroactive to August 26th.

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Which NL Pitcher Should Start the 2022 All-Star Game?

The All-Star Game has been scheduled to come to Chavez Ravine for a very long time. It was originally supposed to be held in 2020, but due to the pandemic, it was pushed back to 2022. For a period of time, it looked like it was cursed as the lockout loomed large before this season.

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How Valuable Is Tony Gonsolin to Dodgers?

Heading into the 2022 season, the Los Angeles offense was touted as being one of the potential best in recent Dodgers history, with names like Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy leading a cast of All-Star sluggers.

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Let’s Talk About Tony Gonsolin

For the past couple of years, Tony Gonsolin has embraced many different roles, including starting and pitching out of the bullpen throughout the regular season and the postseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also pitched in some big spots during the 2020 World Series run.

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Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on 2022 Starting Rotation

Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers just love to speculate about player depth, seemingly more than any other fan base across the majors.

Los Angeles is probably deeper than any other club in the big leagues with position players, as they virtually didn’t miss a beat when Corey Seager tested free agency and landed a job with the Texas Rangers. The team’s position player depth speaks volumes when a player like Chris Taylor isn’t guaranteed a spot on the lineup card every night, even though skipper Dave Roberts says he much prefers to use CT in a flexible utility role.

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Tony Gonsolin Begins 2022 Regular Season in Key Starting Rotation Role

Righty pitcher Tony Gonsolin has always embraced each role the Dodgers put him in over the last three years; but for the first time in his career, he’s opening the season in the big-league starting rotation — the role in which he’s most comfortable.

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