Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: RHP Michael Grove Earns Nice Praise from Player Dev Director

Dodgers pitcher Michael Grove was kind of a surprise contributor to the team last year. He’d never been a top prospect in the organization — he’s still not, in fact — and he was just a year removed from a mechanical overhaul that essentially saved his career. But when the Dodgers needed a spot starter in May, they called on Grove from Double-A, something Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman had never done in all his year heading up a baseball team.

Grove rewarded the Dodgers for their trust. He wasn’t great in the big leagues — his 4.60 ERA made for a 92 OPS+, eight percent worse than league average — but for a spot starter called up from Double-A who wasn’t a top prospect, it was better than LA could have realistically hoped for.

Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic recently talked to Dodgers director of player development Will Rhymes about Grove, and you can tell Rhymes has a lot of respect for the 26-year-old rookie.

“He’s so resilient and so tough,” Rhymes said. “He’s completely fearless.”

In baseball speak, there are few bigger compliments for a pitcher than to call him fearless. Grove’s stuff has improved since he changed his mechanics, too, so he’s a better pitcher than the version that’s not showing up on prospect lists.

One of the things that most impressed Rhymes came late last August, when Tony Gonsolin went on the injured list with a forearm strain and LA called on Grove to make a spot start. The only issue? Grove was sick that day. But he took the ball, and he allowed just two runs in 4.2 innings of a game the Dodgers eventually won, 3-2, in 10 innings.

“He won a lot of credibility with the guys for his willingness to take the ball and make no excuses and just come after guys,” Rhymes said.

Grove isn’t the shiniest name on the list of Dodgers prospects, but he was an important piece of their pitching puzzle last year, and he figures to be the same in 2023.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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