Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Alex Vesia Rocked in First Minor League Appearance

Alex Vesia has had a rough start to the 2023 season. Earlier this week, Vesia was optioned to Triple-A, after struggling through his first 10.1 innings, sporting a 7.84 ERA and a horrendous 2.81 WHIP. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hoped that a trip to the minor leagues would help Vesia get back on track. Safe to say, at least in his first appearance, it did not.

Vesia’s first minor league appearance came on Thursday against the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Padres’ minor league affiliate. He faced six batters, and here’s what happened:

Matthew Batten doubled. Jose Iglesias walked on four pitches. Brandon Dixon singled to load the bases. Alfonso Rivas hit a grand slam on an 0-2 pitch. Yorman Rodriguez popped out. Preston Tucker hit a home run.

Then, Vesia got pulled for Jake Reed.

So, all in all, Vesia went 0.1 innings, and is now sporting a 135.00 ERA in Triple-A this season.

This isn’t the first time Vesia has been sent down in the middle of a season. In 2021, Vesia went through the same struggles, and the Dodgers sent him down to get right. When he came back up, he was one of the more dominant lefty relievers in the game. 

Earlier this week, Roberts was asked if he was hoping for a similar situation this time around.

“This is a surprise for all of us, but this is in the best interest for Alex,” Roberts said. “But, when he did go down, he embraced it and got better. And was lights out when he came back.”

Obviously he’s not off to the best start after one Triple-A appearance, but there’s still plenty of time to get back on track. Here’s what Roberts said he was hoping to see out of Vesia in Triple-A. 

“I think for us, just seeing Alex get back to getting ahead in counts,” Roberts said. “I think he was falling behind a lot to both left and right. He wasn’t able to finish guys with the breaking ball or the fastball. Just wasn’t as consistent as we need him to be, as we’ve seen him. So, right now he needs to catch his breath.”

Vesia definitely didn’t catch his breath in that first appearance, and that’ll likely only prolong his stay in Oklahoma City. But we all know what Vesia can do when he’s on, and he’ll spend as much time as he needs to get back to being himself.

Roberts knows the team needs him in the long run. 

“I believe that we’re still a better ballclub with him on the team.”

Hopefully Vesia’s next appearance in Triple-A goes a little better than his first.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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