Dodgers: Josiah Gray appears at stadium ahead of open start Tuesday

Josiah Gray, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Josiah Gray, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

All signs pointed to Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray helping the big-league team compete sooner rather than later, but that timeline just sped up.

Thankfully, the news was broken in our favorite manner: the player in question simply showing up on the field with the MLB team, without warning.

The Dodgers’ rotation, in relative shambles as of late, will send Tony Gonsolin to the mound on Monday night for a pivotal series with the San Francisco Giants. Though LA remains behind their rival, they face a deficit composed entirely of games in the loss column; they’ve played two extra contests, and lost them both.

Gonsolin has been on-and-off effective thus far this year, but it’s easy to feel more confident in his ability than the next day’s starting pitcher, an intimidating “TBD” … that is, until Gray appeared.

There’s been no announcement yet, but after days of speculation about whether the Dodgers would be bold enough to fill the literal hole in their rotation with their No. 1 prospect, our pontificating has almost been answered.

If he’s here, why use him in any other role?

Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray likely to start Tuesday.

Laid up for much of the season while battling back from a shoulder impingement, Gray was reportedly “a ways down the road” from returning back on June 20.

That timeline, very luckily, has sped up significantly in recent weeks.

Gray started at Triple-A Oklahoma City on both July 10 and July 15, completing four one-hit innings before reaching 4.2 in his next outing (though he was tagged for three earned runs). Initially, the Dodgers’ mandate for when he’d be ready involved building him up for a contribution of at least five innings (and around 75 pitches).

Though they’d be swiftly advancing in the process, the latest trends indicate that Gray could comfortably reach that threshold — though without going much farther.

That said, what’s the alternative that would make more sense in filling Clayton Kershaw’s shoes? The Dodgers have a long-term hole, and might fill it with an attractive trade deadline acquisition in a few weeks.

For now, though, there’s no better candidate than their most pedigreed prospect. Plus, he’s already there.