Dodgers' 3 biggest position battles of spring training
2. Long Reliever/Sixth Starter: Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone, Michael Grove, Andre Jackson
If there is one thing that the Dodgers love to have, it is a sixth starter who makes the big-league roster as a long-relief pitcher that becomes the first go-to option to become a starter if someone gets hurt. Los Angeles typically has a lot of success with this player, who oftentimes ends up better than the original starters themselves.
Tyler Anderson was this player for the Dodgers last season and he took his opportunity and ran with it, earning an All-Star trip and a pretty penny from the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. In previous years, the likes of Ross Stripling and Alex Wood have also turned this opportunity into success.
The candidates to be the sixth starter this year are all young, and some of them are considered top prospects. The leading candidate simply because of his big-league experience is Ryan Pepiot. Keeping him in Triple-A will not accomplish anything, as he has more than proven everything he needs to prove at that level.
Gavin Stone has had a meteoric rise through the Dodgers' farm system and has dominated at every level he has pitched at. While he may need slightly more time in Oklahoma City, there is also the chance that he dominates in spring and forces his way onto the big-league roster.
Then there are the guys who are fighting for their big-league careers (at least with the Dodgers). Andre Jackson and Michael Grove are in the running, but if they are unable to get the job, then they may end up on a different team before 2023 is over.