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Has Michael Grove Arrived?

The Dodgers may have lost the game, but they found a starting pitcher.  Michael Grove will look at the scoreboard and be disappointed in his outing.  As John Smoltz mentioned, this is one he needs to keep the film and go back and review…except for 2 bad pitches to Jake Bauers.   Grove threw 83 pitches and one could argue that for except two pitches, he outpitched Gerrit Cole.

  • K/BB – Grove 7/0; Cole 5/2
  • Swing and Miss – Grove 13; Cole 9
  • Called Strike and Whiff % – Grove 36%; Cole 30%

But he missed on the one that counts most:

  • HR Allowed – Grove 2; Cole 0

Groves pitching mix:

  • Sliders – 35 total – 8 whiff, 9 called strike
  • 4-Seamer – 33 total – 3 whiff, 8 called strike
  • Curve – 14 total – 2 whiff, 2 called strike
  • Change – 1 total

Grove’s spin rate was up on all 4 pitches.  He maxed out at 98.1, and sat at 96.  His velo on his 4-seamer was up 2.5 MPH over his 2023 average.

The two misses to Bauers were an 86.8 MPH slider, middle-middle, and a 95.6 4-seamer up and over the plate. He had been pitching on the edges all game except for those two pitches.  I thought Smoltz made a prescient comment when he said that Grove cannot be afraid to throw that breaking ball to Bauers, and Bauers was probably thinking that “I have taken the breaking ball away from him, so I am going to sit on a fastball.”  He did, and Grove threw it to him.  Result – HR #2.

Yes it was a loss, but Michael Grove showed he can be in the rotation.  Now he needs to show that he can do it again to stay in the rotation.  He faced the mighty NYY team, and did not wilt.  Will he get his next chance against Philadelphia? Unless, Julio Urías is able to make it back, Grove will get that chance.

Until Shelby Miller, Dodger pitching had shut down Aaron Judge quite well  He was 0-6 with 3 Ks.  Judge hit a line drive HR just over the LF pony wall for a HR.  He later walked.

To make room for Grove, Justin Bruihl was optioned for the 4th time this year.  He has been optioned March 23, April 28, May 17, and June 3.  He can be recalled and optioned one more time this year before he has to be designated for assignment with a 6th option.

Phil Bickford went on the 15-day IL with back tightness, and Tayler Scott was recalled to take his place.  Both Tayler Scott and Alex Vesia had very good outings in this one. His velo on his 4-seamer was up 2.5 MPH over his 2023 average.

JD Martinez hit four balls in excess of 100 MPH but nothing to show for it, except maybe a bruise on Judge’s shoulder.  Judge made an outstanding catch on his 8th inning drive crashing through the bullpen gate.

A couple of observations:

  • Muncy has been fielding better. He made a very good play in the 9th to get Josh Donaldson.
  • One curious manager move for me was removing Tayler Scott for Victor González. This is where analytics have to take a back seat to your eyes. Analytics say that Oswaldo Cabrera hits LHP better than RHP.  But Scott was pitching well and had just struck out DJLM.  Plus it was not as if Cabrera was that much better hitting LHP.  Let the guy who was pitching well, finish it off.

 

 

 

 

 

06-03-2023 MiLB Summary Report

 

Reno Aces (Arizona) 9 – OKC Dodgers 6

OKC took a 6-3 lead into the 8th when Reno put up 6 to take the lead, and eventual win.  Gavin Scott started and continues to show that 2023 is not the way he pitched in 2022.  His control has taken a step back.

  • Stone – 4.1 IP, 3 runs, 5 hits, 6 BB, and 6K
  • Luke Williams – 2-4
  • Jahmai Jones – 2-4, double (14), HR (5)
  • Bryson Brigman – 2-4, double (2)

 

  • Michael Busch left during the game on May 30, and has not returned since.

 

Box Score

 

Tulsa Drillers 8 – Wichita Wind Surge (Minnesota) 1

Emmet Sheehan retired the first 14 batters he faced. He allowed a 2 out single and BB before retiring the side.  In the 6th, he allowed a single, a ground out moving the runner to 2nd, and a single broke the shutout.  John Rooney came in for relief and proceeded to pick off Brooks Lee, and one pitch later a ground out ended the inning.

Jake Pilarski and Tanner Dodson completed the final 3 scoreless/hitless innings with 1 walk and 2 Ks each.

The first four Drillers reached base to load the bases for Imanol Vargas to hit a grand slam (8th HR).  Eddys Leonard followed with his 5th HR.  5 batters up and 5 runs.  The Drillers did not look back from there.

  • Imanol Vargas – 2-3, 2 BB, 5 RBI, HR (8), double (9)
  • Jorbit Vivas – 2-4
  • Austin Gauthier – 2-5
  • Eddys Leonard – HR (5)
  • Yusniel Diaz – double (3)

 

Box Score

 

Great Lakes Loons 10 – Beloit Sky Carp (Miami) 0

Three Loons pitchers combined on a 5 hit shutout.  Maddux Bruns pitched the 1st 3 innings.  He was productive but not as efficient as he would have liked.  He threw 61 pitches in his start.  He allowed 1 hit, 2 BB, and 7 K.  He has not allowed a run over the last 13.2 innings.

Christian Suarez (1.0 IP) and Orlando Ortiz-Mayr (5.0 IP) finished the final 6.0 innings without a run.

  • Alex Freeland – 3-3, 3 BB, double (10)
  • Yeiner Fernandez – 2-5, 2 RBI
  • Frank Rodriguez – 2-5, 2 RBI, HR (1)
  • Taylor Young – 1-4. Triple (3), 3 RBI

 

Box Score

 

Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) 6 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 1

Six RC pitchers could not hold back the 66er bats.

The Quakes bats were not as productive.  They generated 6 hits, four of them XBH.

  • Thayron Liranzo – HR (14)
  • Rayne Doncon – double (11)
  • Dayton Dooney – 2-3, double (7)
  • Jorge Puerta – double (7)

 

Box Score

 

 

 

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Singing the Blue

You say Bruihl has been optioned 4 times but wasn’t the first one before the season started and doesn’t that mean it doesn’t count?

Trayce has been put on the IL with an oblique strain which he got on a check swing.

Jonny DeLuca has been called up to replace him. This should be very interesting, assuming they actually give him some at bats. I remember being slightly surprised when they protected him from the Rule 5 last winter. Here we are barely into June and he’s already on the big league roster. Welcome to the big leagues, Jonny!

Singing the Blue

I’m marking this date on my calendar. One of the very few times I was right and Dominique was wrong.  🙃 

Bumsrap

Back to back fun games to watch. Grove was impressive.

Jeff

He looks better than Stone but I’ll reserve judgement after a couple more outings.

OhioDodger

All young pitchers go thru growing pains. Just left a couple of pitches up in the middle of the zone. He will learn and get better.

Badger

I agree, Grove’s 8.14 ERA and 1.52 WHIP should improve. He’s in the rotation with Syndergaard so if the Dodgers play perfect defense and score 7 runs when they pitch we may be ok.

We’re 5-5 so it’s not like we are on a losing streak. Still in first with a pitching staff that is 22nd.

Hope Jonny be good.

In other news How Black LA helped Mexican Americans in the Zoot Suit Riots article on page 1 in the Times. Haven’t read it yet, probably won’t, but it’s there for those who are curious.

Last edited 3 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Grove stepped up. He made two bad pitches that he didn’t get away with. It wasn’t like hitters were missing a lot of opportunities on bad pitches and finally somebody hit one hard. He was dominant.

Every pitcher is going to groove a couple of pitches and some get away with it more than others. Is Grove one of those pitchers that can be awesome when he hits his spots but rarely gets away with grooved pitches? We shall learn.

Dodgers hit enough balls hard enough to score a few more runs if those balls had corrective lenses. If those balls were squirrels they would starve.

Badger

His stuff did look good. And that is a good sign. But he gave up 4 earned in 5 innings. That might work if we had a 4 inning shut down bullpen. Clearly we do not.

Until we don’t, we have pitching issues. That’s a fact. Alternative facts won’t change that.

That said, I look forward to the next starts of all these young guys we are trying out. I would prefer one at a time. The injuries dictate otherwise.

Badger

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here.

I fully recognize we are running out of options for this year. And Grove absolutely deserves another start. I said I looked forward to it. He and Miller both.

If Grive pitches as well next time, and keeps his fastball on the edges, and his breaking stuff down, I hope for 6 innings and 3 earned. A Quality Start. Which is an ERA of 4.5, and ain’t all that, but it sure beats 8+.

I’m excited about our young arms. But as I stated earlier – one at a time. With call ups in September.

This is a rough year for the Blue. A rotation of Buehler, Urias, May, Kershaw and Gonsolin is as good as any I’ve seen in a very long time. If healthy, on this team, the Dodgers could win 120

Wasn’t meant to be.

tedraymond

Wow, other than a two pitches an impressive showing by Grove. His increased velocity came as a surprise. I’m going “where did that come from?” Grove’s breaking pitchers were effective and well placed in most cases. He was like a different pitcher from his past outings. I liked that he wasn’t afraid to challenge the Yankee hitters. Believe in your stuff and throw strikes or pitches that look like strikes leaving his hand.

Add this to what Miller has done in his two outings the Dodgers might be able to have some stability in the rotation. This was one reason I was so looking forward to this season. To see if these “major league ready” prospects were going to be the real deal. Sure, Gavin Stone had some rough appearances, but hopefully he can get back on track. Along with Sheehan and Bruns the Dodger pitching future looks bright. Health is always a concern especially when so many of these pitchers rely on high velocity.
Carry on.

Bobby

I did have Sheehan’s start on the laptop while watching the real game on tv.

Sheehan looks fantastic. Isn’t it about time for him, and others, to jump up to AAA???

Bluto

I’d think so, but I have read his arsenal is VERY FB heavy. Perhaps the team wants him to round out his pitches before moving him?!!!

Singing the Blue

As I’ve watched Grove progress (or maybe I should just say move) through the system I always felt he wasn’t fulfilling whatever promise they saw in him when they drafted him.

He wasn’t very good at Rancho in 2019, then, of course, lost the 2020 season as did so many other prospects. Then, at Tulsa in 2021, he again wasn’t anything special. The only consistent thing was strike outs. He finally began to make some real progress last year and last night was a real eye opener.

Obviously Andrew and friends saw something when they drafted him and continued to see enough through his minor league stops that they didn’t give up on him. Hopefully everyone will be rewarded from here on out.

Badger

Learn from your mistakes kid.

I noticed old friend Willie Calhoun is hitting cleanup for the Yankees today and I had to laugh a bit. It reminded me of a … discussion … with a blogger who was adamant Willie would never make it because his legs were too thick. That was years ago.

Bumsrap

Tree trunks as I recall.

Badger

Yep. Can’t possibly run with trees attached to your butt. Willie’s done ok.

Bluto

in not so great news;

Andy Pages (No. 67 in @Keith laws preseason top 100) underwent surgery last week to repair a torn labrum, sources tell The Athletic. 

Suffered the injury in his first Triple A game after posting a .925 OPS in Double A. On track to be ready for spring.

Singing the Blue

Funny how baseball careers can go in different directions.

Our two best right-handed outfield prospects, promoted to OKC on the same day. DeLuca goes on a tear which leads to his being promoted to the big club.
Pages has a tear of a different type which leads to season-ending surgery.
Hopefully, they both only experience good things from here on out.

nonicnamebumfan

“One curious manager move for me was removing Tayler Scott for Victor González. This is where analytics have to take a back seat to your eyes. Analytics say that Oswaldo Cabrera hits LHP better than RHP. But Scott was pitching well and had just struck out DJLM. Plus it was not as if Cabrera was that much better hitting LHP. Let the guy who was pitching well, finish it off.”Could you explain this to me if Cabrera hits lefties better, he was going against analytics

Last edited 3 months ago by nonicnamebumfan
Badger

Command Bobby.

Yeah, second inning was better.

Last edited 3 months ago by Badger
Bluto

The value of plus stuff is in play here.

Miller’s been said to lack the pitching “sense” of Stone, but his stuff is great.

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