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Ready or Not – It Is Going To Be the Kids

It has been said so many times that it has become ingrained.  This was supposed to be a transition year.  Stay away from high priced FA, reduce payroll and Introduce some kid.  The Dodgers started the season with 2 position rookie, and one rookie pitcher.  Miguel Vargas was the regular 2B, James Outman was the CF, and Michael Grove was a SP replacing another rookie SP in the rotation, Ryan Pepiot.

Currently, the Dodgers have 5 rookies.  On July 9, Miguel Vargas was optioned back to OKC after a rough 3 months. James Outman came out hot and won the April Rookie of the Month before falling flat for May and June.  He adjusted, and had a stellar July and August. He is having a very good rookie season.  Michael Busch and Jonny Deluca got some valuable experience for 2024.

In the meantime, Michael Grove was followed by Gavin Stone, then Bobby Miller, then Emmet Sheehan, and finally Ryan Pepiot as starting pitchers in the LAD rotation. I know there are many out there that are not sold, but I am.  Overly optimistic?  Perhaps.  Let’s take a look at what they have done since August.


  • Bobby Miller – 24 years old, 1st round draft choice 2020 – 10 starts, 60.2 IP, 41 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 1.05 WHIP, 56 K, 15 BB, 6 HR.



  • Ryan Pepiot – 25 years old, 3rd round draft choice 2019 – 7 starts or bulk relief, 39.0 IP, 85 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 0.744 WHIP, 35 K, 4 BB, 5 HR – Only 1 game out of the 7 did Pepiot allow more than 1 run.



  • Emmet Sheehan – 23 years old, 6th round draft choice 2021 – 6 starts or bulk relief, 26 IP, 81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 37 K, 9 BB, 7 HR.



  • Michael Grove – 26 years old, 2nd round draft choice 2018 – 3 relief appearances, 4.2 IP, 00 ERA, 0.643 WHIP, 1 BB, 9 K



The highest ERA is 3.81 and the highest WHIP is 1.05.  That is a combined 130.1 IP, 137 K, 29 BB.  That is 4.7 K/BB.  That is well above average.

Each of the 4 above certainly appear to be headed to the post season roster.  Michael Grove will be relegated full time to the bullpen.  Bobby Miller will be the game 1 or game 2 starter.  Ryan Pepiot could be the 4th starter or a bulk reliever.  Emmet Sheehan figures to be a valuable multi inning reliever, but could start if necessary.

The one rookie that does not figure to make the roster is 24 year old 5th round draft pick for 2020, Gavin Stone.  There is just no room for him on the postseason roster for the Dodgers.  There is zero reason that any of these pitchers should be returned to MiLB.  It is entirely possible that only 2, maybe 3, will stay as starters, and the others will either be relievers or used in trades.  Somebody’s favorite will probably be moved during the winter.

Over the last two days (3 games), all four pitchers pitched in the series with Colorado, IN COLORADO.  These kids are learning very fast.  Pound the zone.  Throw strikes.  Trust your stuff and your defense.  How did they do?

  • Combined – 20.1 IP, 18 hits, 5 runs, 1 BB, 30 K – 2.213 ERA, 0.935 WHIP.

Trying not to be outdone by the rookie pitchers, James Outman is having an excellent series.  He is 7-14, 4 runs, 1 RBI, 1 double (16), 1 HR (23), 1 BB, 2 K.  He seasonal BA is .252 and his OPS is back at .800.

It is easy to dismiss what the kids have done in the last two months, especially the pitchers.  And you can certainly discount what they have done as against inferior talent.  You can only perform against the teams that have been scheduled.  The only point that matters is that they have done it, regardless of who they pitched against.

I am certainly not going to equate what they have done to what they can or will do in the playoffs.  We need to sit and wait. This was not expected, but it is clearly exciting to watch this unfold.  Who are we to say they will be overmatched in the playoffs?  It will not be me.

San Francisco has been eliminated from the playoffs.  San Diego is one loss or one Cubs or Marlins win from elimination.

The Dodgers are set as the Number 2 seed.





OKC Dodgers 5 – Round Rock Express (Texas) 2

Gavin Stone was selected as the guy to bring home a PCL championship, and he did not disappoint.  In the last two days we have seen Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, Bobby Miller, and Emmet Sheehan, all rookies at the MLB level, pitch brilliantly.

Now we need to acknowledge what Gavin Stone did in a AAA Championship Game.  He pitched 6.1 innings, 92 pitches/62 for strikes.  He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (one solo HR), 2 BB, and 10 K’s of his own.

Ricky Vanasco entered into the 7th.  This is the second consecutive championship series game Vanasco has relieved.  He pitched 1.2 perfect innings with 2 Ks and registered a hold.  Wander Suero entered in his second consecutive game as well, and closed out the game with a scoreless 9th for a save.

Offensively, all 5 runs were a result of HRs.  A 2-run HR by Jonny Deluca in the 2nd and a 3-run HR by Michael Busch in the 5th.  OKC had 8 hits, 2 BB, and a HBP.  Every OKC batter except Miguel Vargas reached 1B at least one time.



Key Performances:

  • Drew Avans – 2-4, 1 run – .750 BA and 1.653 OPS in Series
  • Michael Busch – 2-4, 1 run, 3 RBI, HR, .333 BA and 1.000 OPS in Series
  • Jonny Deluca – 1-4, 1 run, 2 RBI, HR
  • Hunter Feduccia – 1-3, 1 run, double, .333 BA and 1.429 OPS in Series


Box Score






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Again, regardless of what happens over the next 2-5 weeks, this is incredible experience for all of these young pitchers for 2024.

It would be AMAZING to get to 100 wins, and all we need to do is go 2-2 vs 2 crappy teams.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bobby

Love beating the Giants in their home park. Maybe Muncy’s 37th will be another go get it out of the ocean moment.


Martinez needs 2 ribbies to get to 100. Amazing since he has played just a handful of games over 100. If he reaches 100, it will give the Dodgers four players with 100 RBIs for the first time in their history. Last time they had three was in the 50’s. Milestone’s wait for a few. Max needs one homer for a career high. Mookie needs one for 40. Freddie needs 2 to get to 30 and give LA four players with 30 for the third time in team history. Freddie became only the second Dodger ever with 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 20 steals. The other? Babe Herman. Today is the anniversary of Jackie Robinson stealing home in game one of the World Series. Yogi always said he was out.


Next week. The kids first against a team that grinded it out to get there, then against whatever loaded team survives the other bracket. Sounds exciting in the headline, in reality feels daunting. It’s of course possible, but will require we beat the odds.

As I see it, the next four, against teams that are making their off season vacation plans, will be batting practice and bullpen sessions. They all know they will have 5 days to rest owies and prepare for the real test. Ersatz games will be practiced of course but cannot and will not come close to the intensity of what happens next week.

Good luck kids. Hope the bats put up touchdowns for you.


Wow, what an impressive showing by the young Dodger pitchers in the last few games. The playoffs are going to be very exciting to see how they pitch in a high pressure environment and more talented opponents.

Also, James Outman has recently put a cherry on top of a terrific rookie season.

As Badger has mentioned many times in the past the Dodgers have to continue to slug in order to advance in the postseason. With the top end pitching they will face it will be interesting on how they perform.

Carry on


I still find it hard to believe that Max Muncy is 5th all time in LA Dodger home runs leaders.


Next to pass is Piazza. Remember though, it has always been hard to hit a lot of homers at Dodger Stadium. Except for LF, the coliseum was harder. Right field was a cab ride away. Heavy air in the spring at night makes long balls very difficult. And Piazza would probably have the most, but he was gone after 6 years. It took Karros 12 years to hit 270. That is about 24 a year. Not really prolific. Muncy has hit 30 plus four times. Karros did it 5.


Interesting formula. Boras wouldn’t approve of course because those players are all leaving tens of millions on the table. But, if it works, and it does with young players, especially those young players from that region, then the Braves are both lucky and good. Is it sustainable? Beats me.

Scott Andes

Pepiot is looking really good.


HISTORY!!!! JD”s 2-run shot gives him 100 RBIs for the year and the Dodgers their first four 100 RBI tandem in their entire history.


His WAR would’ve been -4.0


He and Hernandez have both sucked for a long time. Neither will suddenly improve. Players just have to know it and be prepared to swing at anything close. At least he doesn’t appear to play favorites.

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