Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

A Review of Dodger Rookie Pitching Season to Date (tedraymond)

Before I get to the review I wanted to write about how the Dodgers develop and then use their pitchers at the MLB level. I’m a casual fan who has no special insight or experience to base my opinion. Sometimes I don’t understand how they use these pitchers once they arrive in LA. A reliever is one thing, but a starting pitcher seems to be treated too cautiously. I see in Jeff’s recaps of the Dodger minors games and it seems that a younger starting pitcher only pitches 3-4 innings. Why? Don’t these players pitch seven innings all the time in high school or college? Why not back off the velocity, learn to “pitch”, and build up arm strength with longer outings. And then once promoted to LA that should allow them to go deeper into games. Thus, putting less stress on the bullpen. Right now the Dodgers, as well as many other teams, grind these relievers all season long. The Dodgers have used 25 pitchers so far this season. 25! Come postseason it creates a problem. But, a subject for another time.

So, let’s review how the Dodger pitching prospects have done in 2023.

Ryan Pepiot – So, this player has yet to pitch this year because of an oblique injury. Ryan is 25 years old. He has access to the top training personnel and methods and yet he has spent several months trying to get back on the mound. I don’t get this. But, with the Dodgers, injury disclosures are always sketchy. I know HIPPA and all that but if it’s baseball related then how about some honesty about his rehab. I liked what I saw from him last year. At least a solid bullpen piece.

Grade – Incomplete. Looks like a wasted season for Ryan.


Michael Grove – At 26 I think the Dodgers need to make a decision on how they plan to use Grove. When recently called up he had gotten his velocity up to 97-99 in his first outing. I don’t know where that came from. He has good stuff and for now would be right for a spot starter (opener) or long relief role.

Grade – B-. He has the pitches, velocity, and is not afraid to challenge hitters or throw strikes.


Gavin Stone – Stone got a lot of hype in the offseason with his incredible 2022 season of catapulting through the Dodger system. He was successful enough in AAA to get called up to the Dodgers. I watched him with the anticipation of maybe being the next pitching star for the Dodgers. What a disappointment. He basically had two pitches and neither seemed to be MLB ready. With only a fastball and changeup it has to be difficult to get hitters out unless you have bullseye accuracy with both pitches. And he didn’t. Unless he develops another pitch I don’t see him as a MLB starter. The Dodgers could use him in a trade piece or move him to the bullpen.

Grade – D. This grade was based on all the hype and the letdown when he did get his chance. He will be a major league pitcher. The questions are with what team and in what role?


Bobby Miller – I have been very impressed with the first couple of starts. I missed seeing his last two starts. Miller definitely has big league stuff and the physical stature to become an innings eater as well. Right now it appears he has some emotional issues when things don’t go his way during a game. This should be addressed ASAP. He is too talented to let this continue. Walker Buehler had these same problems his first couple of years. He could be a good source for Miller to access and learn from. I would like to see him back off his velocity a bit and become a better pitcher as opposed to trying to throw the ball through a wall approach. By continuing to try to throw 100 MPH just screams TJ surgery down the road.

Grade – B+. If Miller can harness his emotions on the mound and learn to pitch smart he could be the next Dodger ace.


Emmet Sheehan – First off, the Dodgers should have a player named Emmet. It rings of the Brooklyn days. He had an incredible first outing going six innings of no hit ball. He seems composed on the mound and is not afraid to attack the hitters. To have a sixth round 23 year old make the jump from AA to the show and do what he has done in his three starts is impressive.

Grade – A. To grade him after only three starts is silly, but the grade is based on how he made the jump from AA and how he responded when given the chance. I hope he can finish the season with the Dodgers.


Nick Robertson – Nick was chosen in the 2019 draft and like all minor leaguers lost the 2020 season to Covid. So, he has two minor league seasons to develop as a reliever. When called up this June his first outing went well. Unfortunately, three of the next five appearances didn’t go very well. He allowed six earned runs in five innings with the opposition hitting .364 with a 2.09 WHIP during his short stint with the team. He’s now back in AAA. For a college pitcher who was drafted to relieve and two years’ experience as a pro this doesn’t display successful development on his part nor the Dodgers. I believe AF drafted multiple high round college pitchers in 2019 to fast track to the Dodgers as relievers. Where are they?

Grade – C-. Nick had a couple of nice appearances so he did have some success. Maybe with this experience and some more work at OKC will help him get another callup at the end of the season. He has the tools.


Landon Knack – The headline possibilities with Knack for a last name are going to be fun if he becomes a success in MLB. He’s having a very nice season with Tulsa and now OKC. At 25 he deserves a shot with the Dodgers. Looking forward to seeing him sometime this year.

So, many of the above grades are for prospects who have somewhat or very limited time with the Dodgers. Are they fair? Probably not. But they were mainly based on how the prospect performed and how I think they will do in the future. The team hasn’t had a starting pitching prospect come up and really excel since Walker Buehler. Dustin May looked like he was going to be that guy, but injuries have crippled his career so far. Julio Urias had the look of an ace in the making too. But, this year injuries and his pending free agency is going to probably derail that scenario. My next pick to take the mantle from Kershaw for ace status is Bobby Miller. We’ll see what happens.


07-02-2023 MiLB Game Summary Reports

(by Jeff Dominique)


OKC Dodgers 8 – Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Houston) 2

Matt Andriese started a game that was originally set for Gavin Stone.  Is Gavin Stone in LA looking to start Monday’s game?  Matt completed 6.0 innings.  The sole run he did allow was a solo HR.  He surrendered three additional hits, no BB, and 8 K.  Gus Varland pitched two perfect innings with a K.  Wander Suero pitched the final inning, allowing a run on 2 hits.

OKC got on the board in the first.  Drew Avans drew a BB that was followed by a Michael Busch single.  Bryson Brigham reached on an error to load the bases.  Kole Calhoun walked to force in one run, and Ryan Ward singled to plate the second.  After five OKC batters, the score was 2-0.

Justin Yurchak homered (3) to lead off the 2nd.  Ryan Ward (8) and Hunter Feduccia (7) hit solo HRs in the 3rd.

Ryan Ward hit a 2nd HR (9) in the 6th.  OKC scored single runs in the 7th and 8th.  Devin Mann hit his PCL leading 28th double for the run in the 8th.

  • Ryan Ward – 3-5, 3 runs, 3 RBI, 2 HR (9)
  • Michael Busch – 2-4, 2 BB, triple (3)
  • Kole Calhoun – 2-4
  • Justin Yurchak – 2-4, HR (3)
  • Hunter Feduccia – HR (7)
  • Devin Mann – Double (28)


Box Score



Tulsa Drillers – Amarillo Sod Poodles (Arizona)

Game five of a six-game series between the Tulsa Drillers and the Amarillo Sod Poodles, that was scheduled to be played Sunday night, was postponed by rain.

The game will now be made up as part of a doubleheader on Monday.



Great Lakes Loons 4 – Lansing Lugnuts (A’s) 2

RHP Hyun-il Choi had a nice 3.0 scoreless inning start.  He was followed by 5 pitchers to complete the bullpen game.

In the 5th, Luis Yanel Diaz doubled (12), and Chris Newell drew a walk.  Chris Alleyne doubled (12) home both runners, and GL had a 2-0 lead.  In the 7th,  Diaz singled, stole 2nd, Griffin Lockwood-Powell walked and Chris Alleyne tripled (3) them both home.

Lansing scored a run in the 8th (unearned) and 9th.

  • Luis Yanel Diaz – 2-2, 2 runs, double (12)
  • Chris Alleyne – 2-2, HBP, 4 RBIs, double (12), triple (3)



Box Score


Visalia Rawhide (Arizona) 3 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2

Despite getting badly out-hit and committing four errors, the Visalia Rawhide managed a 3-2 win over the Rancho Cucamonga.

The RC offense produced ten hits, while Visalia collected just three, but the Rawhide made them count, as they slugged a pair of solo home runs and used an RBI double from Juan Corniel to win their second straight game in the series and for the third time in five days.

Kristian Robinson (3) and Riquelmin Cabral (2) each blasted a solo homer, as the Rawhide took a 2-0 lead over Rancho starter Gabe Emmett.

The Quakes fought back against Visalia starter Ricardo Yan, getting one in the fourth and then tying the game with a Jesus Galiz RBI hit in the fifth, knotting the game at 2-2.

In the seventh, Quakes’ reliever Jon Edwards (1-1) walked the leadoff man and then gave up a two-out RBI double to Juan Corniel, giving Visalia the lead for good at 3-2.

Rancho had chances throughout, but left 12 men stranded over their first eight innings. In the ninth, they’d go in order against closer Juan Morillo.

  • Josue De Paula – 2-5, double (7)
  • Kenneth Bettencourt – 2-5
  • Simon Reid – 2-4, double (1)


Box Score





Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Farhan Friedman

Great job Ted Raymond. I agree with your assessments.


It was an excellent read.


Ted is a welcome addition.


Yes, Ted enjoyed the read. I think you just might have the (KNACK) to be a real good contributor here.


Those are some really impressive stats, Jeff.



i misunderstood, and you helped.


Thanks Jeff, and the Dodgers have already allowed more stolen bases,(8) in 1/2 a year then they did all of last year

Last edited 10 months ago by nonicnamebumfan

Ted, I enjoyed reading your concise reviews of our rookie pitchers. Your comments on how the club basically coddles the new pitchers are very telling about their training. Strength training is always about adding more to your workout process so you build endurance. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first area I would investigate in the process of conditioning. Going 7 innings should be a goal and a milestone for all starters. Somehow, I think velocity has superimposed itself and has become a sign for modern times. Injury lurks. One little tweak and a player can miss a month or more. Missing multiple weeks and months is unacceptable with the right trainers and staff.

I pretty much agree with your take except on Michael Grove. With an 0-2 start, no QS’s(quality starts) in 7 starts, 7.54. ERA, 1.59. WHIP, and 8 HRs in 9 appearances, doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies. How did you arrive at a B- grade?

I also see good things for both Miller and Sheehan. If these two continue on this trajectory, they will be welcome additions to our wounded vets and some may never get back that mojo they once had.


Excellent writeup!! However, I’ll agree with Jeff that if Michael Grove gets a B- for what he’s done this year, I deserve an A+ for my honors biology class from 9th grade and not the B or whatever I actually got.

Grove has shown nice stuff with horrible stats and results. That’s not B grade level.


I just got off the phone with Fresno High School and they have agreed to give you that A+. You apparently didn’t do so well in the frog dissecting part of the course due to you having passed out.


Grove is not considered a premium prospect. The fact he’s even made it is something of a win.

To the eye, he has a good frame, a nice delivery, good velocity and a solid four-pitch mix.

That said, he’s prone the longball and seems to always have a bad inning.

5th starter/swingman would be great outcome. I still have hope for breakout next year.


Hey Jeff. As far as my grade for Grove, you and others who thought it was too high are probably correct. I may have been too generous with Grove. My reasoning was based more on potential than recent results. He has the tools and is not afraid to go after the hitters. I mentioned that the Dodgers might look at him as Ross Stripling role. I think he would be better as a high leverage relief like Phillips has been used most of the year. In Grove’s last couple of outings he did give up some HRs, but had an unbelievable amount of soft contact. Like most pitchers he has to fine tune his stuff. I optimistic he will do that.

Anyway, thanks to you and others for the kind words on the article. And I appreciate all the feedback. I want to contribute to a forum where we can all express our thoughts and opinions about the Dodgers without the concern of being ridiculed or belittled. Questioned? Yes! Doubted? Absolutely!
Yes, Badger, you can call me Ted.
Carry on.

Last edited 10 months ago by tedraymond

Good job Ted. Your article was interesting and informative.



Tonight, Grove was pulled after 4 and didn’t earn the win. Roberts seems to suffer from this same coddling impulse that the farm system has. They’ve got to give the starters more burn if they want to really break them in unless, of course, there is an injury occurring. Please, contribute more analysis and stay open.

Fred Vogel

Good stuff, Ted. Looking forward to more of your insights.


May I call you Ted?

Keep at it. Your knowledge and ability to express it adds a lot to this site.

I agree with your opening paragraph and would like to know more on how the Dodgers go about it in the minors. They are alleged to be the leader in pitching development but the questions that have been raised here are legitimate. Why the injuries and why the inability to hit spots? I learned how do it in Little League. Maybe I had an advantage, my grandfather was a pitcher in the Texas leagues decades ago and taught me “high and tight low and away” when I was 11. He also said forget the curve til later and taught me “change of pace” and different fastball and change grips. Weak contact. As an 11-12 year old. It worked. I keep asking myself, what are they teaching now and would the old techniques work today?

Here is some more likely useless information I learned in a kinesiology class in college – the arm isn’t designed to throw overhand. Actually the shoulder isn’t. Sidearm, like Walter Johnson, or underhand, like softball pitchers. I faced fast pitch pitchers who could throw 300 pitches in a weekend tournament without issues. And I think the question regarding elbow torque on a 100 mph pitch has been ongoing for some time now. I keep asking, how about 97 located instead? And unless you have hands the size of LeBron, the split finger is a ticket to TJ.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger

It seems to me that Grove is victimized by weak hits that are compounded by opposing team’s running game. If one looks at the exit velocity against Grove instead of runs against him, it could lead to a grade of B.


Great info Jeff

And that is another example of why I find this blog the best out there. And now we’ve added Ted to go along with you and Bear. We’re lucky to have you guys.

I haven’t read the article yet but will. Yes, it’s often the tendon. I learned the overload principle in working out, again 70’s principles, may be out of date of course, but it sounds to me like pitchers are overloading their shoulder joints several times an outing. Same with the elbow. Does it maybe come down to another old principle – work smart, not hard?

6 man. If you’ve got the arms, and we do, start it now.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger

Mobility and flexibility training are not about overload but safety and prevention of joint pain and muscle pulls. Specialized routines are now part of many workouts. Everyone now knows about rotator cuff injuries but not enough about trapezius and shoulder blade mobility. Opening the shoulders and hips are very big with the physio therapists now. Most people that do strength training have injuries and don’t really undo them properly. The body adapts to injury and that is not good for an athlete. Compensation of injuries usually result in a lack of performance.


I’m not sure if they are underconditioned or pushing the fine line of safety by stressing velocity instead of placement of the pitches. I have no way of knowing what is going on. It seems like common sense to beware of endurance and stressing your arm out and treading a fine line of safety. You don’t need to throw 100mph to get a batter out.

Singing the Blue

Good stuff Ted. You’ve gotten a good discussion going here. Hope to see more articles from you.

Now, as to the subject at hand, it seems to me that if speed is leading to more injuries, some team with foresight should start drafting and developing SOME of their pitchers who don’t throw 100 mph and whose repertoire consists of off speed stuff which is less likely to incur injury.

I’ve been pounding the table for us to develop a couple of knuckleballers. Be contrarian. Familiarity breeds contempt (or multiple hits and losses).

If throwing sidearm and underhand is healthier for the arm, has anyone ever determined if throwing a MLB ball underhand is possible? Batters would need to adjust to seeing the ball coming at a totally different angle and might not adapt very well.

When they zig, we zag………….because we aren’t doing a great job of zigging this year.


Have you ever seen video of Major League hitters trying to hit fastpitch?I haven’t for years because I don’t think ML hitters will do it anymore. Reggie Jackson tried to hit Kathy Arendsen (Chico State) and she smoked him. Eddie Feigner struck out Mays, McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills and Harmon Kilebrew in a row. Who knows what might have happened from 60’, or if it could even work in hardball but one thing is for sure, there would be far fewer injuries.

Singing the Blue

Yes, I’ve seen those videos. Very entertaining.

There should be a small group somewhere in the organization that spends time brainstorming on how to do things differently within the rules. Throwing underhand would be on that list.


They are too busy making money.

Singing the Blue

I realize we have an excellent chance of making the playoffs this year if we can keep our rotation from totally disintegrating, but I’m already concerned about next year’s pitching.

1) Kershaw may retire or go to the Rangers.
2) Buehler may not come back successfully from his surgery, or at least may not be as effective since it’s his second TJ.
3) Urias is at least a 50-50 possibility not to return (either by his choice or AF’s)
4) Gonsolin – well, it’s the Catman and you can never be sure when he’ll be healthy.
5) May – this could be another Treinen story. Wait all year hoping to cure yourself without surgery and then, having wasted a year, have surgery.

This was supposed to be the reset year but we might go into spring training next year with a rotation of Miller, Sheehan, Stone, Grove, Pepiot and Knack (pick 5).

In spite of the fact that Miller and Sheehan have had their excellent moments, we can’t be sure that any of those 6 are going to be effective longtime major league starters.

We keep on hearing that AF should go out and get a couple of guys as rentals, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time to spend that prospect capital and pay up for some pitchers that we’ll control for at least two or three years and who could be our #1 or 2 starters.

Jeff D. (or anyone else), please get me some names of pitchers we could go after that would fit those criteria.

In the meanwhile, I hope Andrew has saved some money to go after the Japanese pitcher Yamamoto who will be posted this winter. He sounds like a really good one.

Last edited 10 months ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

Thanks for that list.
Bieber concerns me (loss of velo)
I like Keller and Cease.
I wouldn’t touch Ray – too many injuries.
Gausman would be great but the Jays won’t let us have him.
McKenzie – I’ll pass because of elbow problems
Singer and Luzardo are interesting.

We’re bound to eventually wind up with at least one of Giolito, Flaherty or Fried. Question is which one and how successful they’ll be for us.


I hear you, Blue. But Kershaw seems like a Dodger for life, to me.

Singing the Blue

CK could very well be a Dodger for life but if he retires this year that statement would still be correct.


Grove 79 pitches to go 4. He just works too damm hard.

Kershaw to get some time off. Knew that was coming.


Vargas needs a trip to OKC…

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x