Top Options to Replace Injured Michael Grove in Dodgers Rotation
So your team lost its fifth starter, eh? Yeah, that can be tough. For the Dodgers, another one bites the dust as Michael Grove hit the injured list with a right groin strain. The rookie right hander suffered the injury during a recent start in Chicago. While the hope is that he’ll be sidelined for just the 15 day stint on the IL, chances are that won’t be the case… especially with the Dodgers’ luck this year.
Grove is actually LA’s third number five starter in the rotation this year. Sort of.
2022 NL All-Star Tony Gonsolin was slated to be part of the rotation heading into spring training but an ankle injury set him back for the last month and counting. However, he is on the mend… more on Tony in a second.
Another rookie right-hander, Ryan Pepiot, technically won the fifth starter spot out spring training but an oblique injury days before opening day will now keep him out of action until at least some time in June after he was added to the 60-day IL on Friday.
So who will take Grove’s spot in the rotation next week in Pittsburgh?
The next time Michael Grove’s spot in the rotation would come up is Wednesday in Pittsburgh. With an off day on Monday, the Dodgers have some options to play with when it comes to filling his spot in the order.
1. Julio Urias
The team could technically opt to pitch Julio Urias on regular rest but given his recent struggles (7 ER, 9 IP), an extra day off probably wouldn’t hurt the left-hander. Why is this the top option? First, the Dodgers don’t have any other options that are jumping off the table right now. And, perhaps more importantly, the club doesn’t have very much wiggle room on the roster to purchase the contract of anyone off the 40-man.
Urias lets them make zero roster moves AND buys more time for the injured Tony Gonsolin to complete his full minor league rehab assignment.
2. Tony Gonsolin
So, despite what I just said, Gonsolin might actually be the top option to start, albeit not at full strength. Manager Dave Roberts seems to be leaning that way during a recent media scrum.
“He’s part of the conversation. If we have to pivot on the rehab and get him active, we’ll do that. But whatever decision, we want to make sure that he’s not in harm’s way.”Via SNLA
The biggest hang up is that Tony just made his first minor league rehab start on Thursday and only built up to 57 pitches. Good, not great. LA’s day off on Monday could help the situation a bit in terms of coming into Wednesday’s game with a potentially more rested bullpen.
3. Gavin Stone
Top pitching prospect Gavin Stone is the healthiest person we’ve mentioned so far (not named Julio Urias). After a dominant showing during spring training with the Dodgers, his season at Triple-A has been up and down with a little more down than up. In 4 starts he has a 7.20 ERA but has been a bit better than that since his first start of the season.
One of the bigger things working against Stone is the fact that he’s not currently on the 40 man roster. If he was going to be called up, someone would need to be DFA’d (unless RHP Jimmy Nelson moves to the 60 day IL).
Luke Williams or Austin Wynns could be DFA options by next Wednesday. Sorry, fellas.
Notably, Roberts did say that Stone is “part of the conversation” for the spot start or two.
“Gavin’s gonna get here at some point. Hasn’t been great up until now, so just kind of figuring out what’s best for him, what’s best for us.”
4. Andre Jackson / Bullpen Game
Never rule out a bullpen game for the Dodgers. Roberts did say that Jackson isn’t a likely option to start, but, depending on his usage, he could in reality be a bulk innings guy behind an opener.