Dave Roberts: Gavin Stone Has Been ‘Nothing But Phenomenal’ For Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation is among Major League Baseball’s top units, entering Friday with a top-10 combined earned run average.

Amassing a 3.57 ERA, Dodgers starters rank eighth in the league, and the fourth group in the National League. A main driver in that equation is 25-year-old right-hander, Gavin Stone.

Stone was solid in his first Coors Field experience on Thursday, matching a career-high with seven strikeouts. He owns a 3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, with a 3.52 FIP.

He came away with a positive outlook following the game, which is difficult in a ballpark that is generally unkind to pitchers, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:

“I feel like you just have to throw your normal stuff and just put it in good spots,” Stone said. “It was a good day overall.”

Stone ran into his first bit of trouble in the sixth inning after cruising for much of the game, that’s when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided it was best to turn to the bullpen:

“I thought in that sixth inning, you know, there were two walks in there. … I just felt in that point in time he sort of hit a wall,” Roberts said of Stone. “The stuff wasn’t what it was in the first five innings. He’s been nothing but phenomenal for us and he’ll be ready to go for the next one.

“The way he has evolved. For any starting pitcher, you just kind of evaluate do they have the weapons to get left out, to get right out, to be efficient, to command the baseball. Can you navigate three times through the lineup? He’s checked all those boxes for me. He’s only getting better.”

Stone’s demeanor has changed from his rookie season to this year, showing a level of confidence in his stuff. That mound presence shows in his willingness to throw any pitch in any count, a big time trait for successful arms.

His returns on the mound have been great during the early months, putting him on the radar with fans and in the Dodgers organization of a budding, consistent starting option.

Where does Gavin Stone rank in Major League Baseball?

In Stone’s last seven starts, he’s posted a 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP with a 3.28 FIP. Those numbers are an improvement from his first seven, where he held a 3.55 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 3.77 FIP.

He ranks seventh among NL starters with a 1.38 win probability added (WPA), 12th in ERA, and the fifth-lowest barrel rate (5.4%).

Roberts noting that Stone has improved is a massive understatement to how much he’s grown and developed his game from where it was during his initial call-up to the Dodgers last season.

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