Dodgers Team News

Dodgers RHP Ryan Pepiot Isn’t Worrying About the Competition to Fill Tony Gonsolin’s Spot

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Friday that the team has three main options to fill Tony Gonsolin’s spot on the Opening Day roster and in the starting rotation. Those three guys are RHPs Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove and Andre Jackson.

All three have played well this spring, and at this point, Roberts can’t really go wrong with any of them.

Pepiot has thrown nine innings, and has struck out an impressive 13 batters to the tune of a 2.00 ERA. Grove has a slightly more modest 4.15 ERA in 8.2 innings, with eight punch outs. And Jackson has been nearly perfect, allowing zero earned runs in nine innings for an impressive ERA of, you guessed it, 0.00. He’s also struck out seven while walking just one.

After Pepiot’s most recent outing on Friday — one in which he was pulled early due to discomfort in his side, although Roberts didn’t sound too concerned — the young right-hander was asked about the potential competition to fill Gonsolin’s spot on the Opening Day roster. Here’s what he had to say, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

“I don’t want to look too much into it or else I can go down a rabbit hole and try to press too much, which is kind of one of the things I did last year,” Pepiot said. “So I’m just going out, executing pitches, continuing to get work every single day. Whether it’s me, whether it’s Michael or somebody else, we all have a job to do and help the team win. So whoever they feel is the best opportunity to do that then all power to them.”

At this point in the spring, assuming he’s healthy, I think Pepiot is the guy to open the season on the roster. Not only has he dominated this spring, especially with his impressive 13 strikeouts in nine innings of work, he also has the most MLB experience as a starter of the three options.

Last year, Pepiot made seven starts (nine appearances) with the big league club, and pitched fairly well, going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA. He struck out 42 batters in 36.2 innings, and looks even more dominant this year.

Pepiot will likely make one more start this spring before Roberts has to make a decision. Grove is scheduled to pitch on Saturday, and we’ll see if Jackson makes his first start of spring, or if he just continues to come out of the bullpen (something I think he’ll do for the Dodgers this season, for what it’s worth).

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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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