While the win-loss record might not directly show it, the 2023 Los Angeles Dodgers have put together an offensively sound team. Many of the big names from last year's roster have moved on, but the club continues to win games and score runs.
As of Wednesday, the Dodgers currently have a run differential of +21 despite a 9-9 record. That's the highest in the division and fourth best in the NL.
What helps their case even more is the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks are the only team above them in the standings. The Snakes have surprised many out of the gate, but they likely still belong in the "pretender" category.
While the Dodgers have done well in the run-scoring department, it's important to remember that they're doing this with half the team on the injured list. As of right now, the club's starting catcher (Will Smith) and shortstop (Gavin Lux) are injured. On the pitching side of things, a whopping eight hurlers are on the shelf, including five on the 60-day IL.
There's a lot to be said for how the club has been performing without some of its big guns. However, there are still multiple players on the active roster who seem to be on the bubble. Their days on the club may be numbered, whether it's because of returning players from injuries or just overall underperformance.
These 3 Dodgers players won't be on the roster by May 1
Things just have not gone Grove's way since he debuted with the club last year. The right-hander made it as high as No. 15 in the organizational prospect rankings (in 2019) but had his fair share of ups and downs on his way to The Show.
After disastrous showings in both 2019 and 2021, Grove showed some real promise in 2022 in 19 appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A. Over that time, he had a 3.79 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 76 innings, good for a K/9 of 10.7.
His brief time in the big leagues did not go all that well, though, but it certainly could've been worse. In seven outings and 29.1 innings of work, he saw his strikeout numbers dip and he was allowing far too many batters to reach base.
You likely do not need me to tell you that the 2023 season has not started off on the right foot for Grove. So far, he has made three starts and had issues with batters reaching base in each one. In a total of 13 innings, his 9.00 ERA is definitely defined by one supremely bad outing against the Diamondbacks (12 H, 9 ER in 3.1 innings), but this version of Grove doesn't seem anything like the former intriguing pitching prospect.
As soon as a player returns from the injured list or someone down in Triple-A does enough to warrant a call-up, Grove is the painfully obvious choice to get the boot. He still has two minor league options and he's still young, so there's still hope ... maybe.