Another day…another LAD starting pitcher hits the IL. On May 18, Dustin May went on to the 15-day IL with what is being reported as a right forearm strain. Right before game time on Saturday, we learned that Julio Urías was going on the IL with a left hamstring strain.
Per a source, the #Dodgers initial hope is that Julio Urías will be ready to return once his 15-day IL stint is up
In the meantime though, there aren't many obvious options to replace him in the rotation
More here on the team's latest pitching injury:https://t.co/MMFtiEMI5a
— Jack Harris (@ByJackHarris) May 20, 2023
The Dodgers brought up yet another reliever, Wander Suero. That makes 3 starting pitchers on the 26 man and 10 relievers.
Clayton Kershaw will get the start on Sunday. The team will still have 10 relievers as backup…just in case. Obviously the Dodgers are going to need a starting pitcher called up for Monday. It will be a monumental surprise if it is not Gavin Stone. I assume one of Tyler Cyr or Wander Suero will be optioned back to OKC. Okay that is Monday.
Tuesday would normally be Urías’ spot. Would the Dodgers dare activate Michael Grove to be an opener on Tuesday. What choices do they have? The Dodgers do not have any other starters on the 40 man other than Andre Jackson. But he was just sent down and must stay down for 10 days unless he is being recalled for an injury. Wander Suero was recalled instead of Jackson. I am not sure of the thinking. Then again there is no reason for me to understand.
The current thinking is that Urías will be back after the 15 days, or June 3 against NYY. Urías would miss a start against Atlanta and Washington. Could Grove be used in an emergency for two openers? If Urías is not ready (and what are the odds he will be), and Grove is nothing more than an opener, would the Dodgers dare drop down to AA again as they did last year when they tabbed Grove.
Matt Andriese? Robbie Erlin? William Cuevas? Outside of Bobby Miller, that is the OKC rotation. There is not an option in that first group that I would be comfortable going into a pennant stretch with.
Bobby Miller may not be an option today, but maybe by the ASB. If Miller continues to pitch well, he could very well be a welcome addition at the ASB. But that is a BIG IF.
None of Noah Syndergaard, Tony Gonsolin, or Gavin Stone are considered favorites to get thru 6 innings. Therefore the bullpen is going to continue to be asked to shoulder the bulk of the innings. The pen is not a strength this year.
Maybe now is the time to push AA pitchers to AAA for stiffer competition.
They may not be ready to start and go deep, since they do not go deep in AA, but they do pitch well enough that they could be potential piggybacks. The Dodgers may take the Tampa Bay model and embellish it. Who are the candidates?
Landon Knack (25 – Turns 26 on 7/15)
- 8 Games, 7 games started, 34.0 IP
- 59 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, .180 Batting Average Against (BAA), .501 OPS
- K/9 – 10.32, BB/9 – 1.85, HR/9 – 0.26, H/9 – 5.82, K/BB – 5.57
- MLB Pipeline Scouting Report – Fastball (55), Slider (55), Change (50), Curve (45), Control (60). Landon’s strength is his control. Always has been.
Emmet Sheehan (23)
- 8 Games, 7 games started, 34.0 IP
- 85 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, .127 BAA, .491 OPS
- K/9 – 15.35, BB/9 – 3.44, HR/9 – 1.06, H/9 – 3.97, K/BB – 4.46
- MLB Pipeline Scouting Report – Fastball (65), Slider (45), Change (60), Curve (40), Control (45). Sheehan’s strength is his fastball. He has a big strikeout pitch. He actually seems like a perfect reliever in the short-term. He can always go back to starting.
Kyle Hurt (24 – Turns 25 on 5/30)
- 8 Games, 5 games started, 23.0 IP
- 17 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, .179 BAA, .504 OPS
- K/9 – 17.22, BB/9 – 2.35, HR/9 – 0.39, H/9 – 5.87, K/BB – 7.33
- MLB Pipeline Scouting Report – Fastball (60), Slider (50), Change (60), Curve (50), Control (40). Hurt has seemingly bettered his control since his scouting grade. He is a prolific strike thrower. If Jose Hernandez (Rule 5 with Pittsburgh) can make the jump from AA, so can Kyle Hurt. With his strike throwing ability maybe he will get a chance. He maxes out at 4.0 IP. Good piggyback candidate.
River Ryan (24 – Turns 25 on 8/17)
- 7 Games, 6 games started, 24.2 IP
- 55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .189 BAA, .580 OPS
- K/9 – 9.12, BB/9 – 4.01, HR/9 – 1.09, H/9 – 6.20, K/B 2.27
- MLB Pipeline Scouting Report – Fastball (60), Cutter (45), Change (55), Curve (55), Control (45). River has 3 above average to plus pitches, but lacks experience. He is not ready for MLB.
I would add Nick Nastrini, but he more than any of the others needs more AA seasoning. While not a preference, if need be, I would not cringe if any of the first three were part of a piggyback scenario. None are ready to go deep. Knack has one start of 5.1 IP and 4 of 5.0, Sheehan has three starts of 5.0 IP, Hurt has 1 start at 4.0 IP, and Ryan has 1 start at 4.2 IP and 2 at 4.0.
This could be a special group of AA pitchers.
05-20-2023 – MiLB Summary Report
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Houston) 4 – OKC Dodgers 3 – 11 innings
Drew Avans had a lead off single and moved to 2nd on a Michael Busch. Avans stole third and scored on a Ryan Ward single, with Busch moving to 3rd. Jonny DeLuca walked to load the bases, and Busch scored on a Hunter Feduccia force out.
OKC left the bases loaded in the 4th, and that was their final threat.
Sugar Land’s Bligh Madris hit a 2-run HR in the 5th off starter William Cuevas to tie the score.
Mark Washington, Bryan Hudson, and Tayler Scott followed Cuevas with 4 scoreless innings through 9. In the 10th, with the opener runner at 2nd, Nick Robertson allowed a leadoff single to score the run. Robertson got a fly out and 2 Ks to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, Drew Avans started at 2nd, Michael Busch hit a fly ball to move Avans to 3rd and scored on a Luke Williams sac fly.
In the 11th, with a runner at 2nd, Adam Kolarek got the first two outs, but Luke Berryhill got the eventual game winning single.
In the bottom of the 11th with Ryan Ward at 2nd, Jonny DeLuca flew out to move Ward the 3rd. Hunter Feduccia hit a ground ball to 1B and Ryan Ward ran on contact and was thrown out a home. Yonny Hernandez grounded out to end the game.
Ryan Ward had 2 hits for OKC. No OKC extra base hits.
Tulsa Drillers 4 – Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston) 3
The Drillers generated 5 hits in the game, and 3 of them came in the third inning. After José Ramos Drew a one-out walk, Imanol Vargas singled, and with two out, Eddys Leonard doubled both home. Diego Cartaya followed the double with a 2-out, run scoring single, and a 3-0 lead.
Jorbit Vivas slugged a solo HR in the 4th for a 4-0 lead.
In the meantime, in a very Tony Gonsolinesque manner, Nick Nastrini was pitching a 3 hit shutout thru 4.2 IP. In the 5th, after Nastrini walked Chad Stevens with one out in the 5th. He wild pitched Stevens to 2nd before striking out C. J. Stubbs. John Rooney was summoned to replace Nastrini, but gave up a single to score Stevens.
Rooney and Braydon Fisher each pitched scoreless innings getting 5 Ks in the 2 innings.
Trevor Bettencourt entered the 8th and gave up 4 singles and two runs before Jake Pilarski came in to get the final out.
With a BB and HBP, Pilarski was running into trouble in the 9th. Jordan Leasure came in and got the final out for the save.
No Tulsa batter had 2 or more hits. Eddys Leonard had a double and 2 RBIs while Jorbit Vivas homered.
West Michigan Whitecaps 6 – Great Lakes Loons 0
In a big personal disappointment, Jerming Rosario was rocked for 5 runs in 1.2 IP. He allowed 5 hits (all singles), 2 BBs and 2 WPs.
4 relief Great Lakes relievers pitched 7.1 innings allowing 4 hits, 4 walks, and 6 Ks. The only run was a solo HR off Reinaldo De Paula.
The Loons were shutout on 6 hits. Damon Keith and Austin Gauthier had 2 hits. Dalton Rushing hit his 8th double, while Keith hit his 7th.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 5 – Visalia Rawhide (Arizona) 3
Chris Newell slugged two home runs on Saturday night, as the Quakes overcame an early deficit to defeat the Visalia Rawhide by a score of 5-3.
The multi-homer game for Newell (11, 12) is his second in the last three games, giving him four this week against Visalia and helps Rancho extend their lead in the South Division over idle Lake Elsinore back to five full games.
Newell’s first long-ball tied the game at 2-2 against Visalia starter Ricardo Yan (0-5) in the fourth. Rancho took the lead shortly after, as Thayron Liranzo walked and scored on a Jorge Puerta double, making it 3-2.
Rayne Doncon slugged a solo homer, his seventh, giving the Quakes some breathing room at 4-2.
Payton Martin started and completed 3.0 IP. He allowed 2 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. Not his best start, but he kept the Quakes in the game.
Christian Romero (4-0) was solid through his first three innings in relief, but Visalia got a run in the last of the seventh, tightening the game to a run at 4-3.
Lucas Wepf got out of the seventh and after Newell’s second round-tripper of the game made it a two-run lead, pitched a scoreless eighth. Madison Jeffrey worked a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his team-leading fifth save.
- Chris Newell – 2-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 HRs (League Leading 12th)
- Thayron Liranzo – 2-3, 1 BB, 1 run
- Rayne Doncon – HR (7)
- Jorge Puerta – double (6)
- While Chris Newell leads the California League in HRs, Thayron Liranzo is ties for 2nd with 9, and Rayne Doncon is tied for 4th with 7.