Dodgers need to stop wasting Gavin Stone after Michael Grove disaster
By Jason Reed
The Los Angeles Dodgers headed into Easter weekend with a 5-2 record and three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks from Friday to Sunday. Los Angeles unremarkably lost all three of those games, bringing the team back down to earth with a .500 record.
Pitching was the main problem for the Dodgers in the three losses. Arizona scored a combined 29 runs across the three games, completely negating the 17 combined runs that the offense scored. Los Angeles averaged 5.67 runs per game and still lost by an average of four runs.
Making this woeful pitching display even more frustrating is the fact that the team has a solution that is very obviously big-league-ready waiting in the wings.
Dodgers need to stop wasting Gavin Stone in the minors
Gavin Stone was the best pitcher on the Dodgers during spring training in his six scoreless innings of work. However, because of the team's established pitching depth, Stone was destined to start the season in the minors with AAA Oklahoma City.
However, when Ryan Pepiot became a surprise addition to the IL right before the season, it seemed like the Dodgers might give Stone his chance with the big-league club. That chance instead went to Michael Grove,
Grove had a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched in Spring Training and it is not like that was just a cold streak for a promising pitcher. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings last season and has not been very great in the minors, either. In 198.2 innings pitched in his minor-league career, Grove has a 5.84 ERA. Ouch.
The Dodgers were able to save Grove in his first start of the season after he allowed three runs across four innings of work against the Colorado Rockies. That was not the case on Sunday, as the Dodgers ultimately fell 11-6.
To be fair, Stone did struggle in his first start of the year for Oklahoma City as he allowed six runs in only 2.2 innings of work. However, he quickly rebounded in his next start in which he allowed one run in five innings of work with five strikeouts.
The season is long and once Pepiot is healthy he is going to replace Grove in the starting rotation. But after seeing a weekend like this Easter weekend, it is impossible for Dodgers fans to accept the fact that one of the team's best pitchers might be stuck in AAA.