With Opening Day just around the corner, the Los Angeles Dodgers will need to promote a starting pitcher within their roster now that manager Dave Roberts confirmed Tony Gonsolin will not be included in their rotation to begin the season because of a left ankle sprain.
Initially, Roberts indicated the Dodgers were likely to choose from Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot as the club’s temporary fifth starter. That didn’t come as much of a surprise considering both made their respective MLB debuts last season and were pitching well this spring.
More recently, however, Roberts also mentioned Andre Jackson as a candidate to fill in for Gonsolin, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Obviously we’re still making decisions and evaluating,” Roberts said, mentioning Andre Jackson as a possible candidate as well. “To just say that this is a chance to audition or earn, compete for an opportunity, I think that’s fair because that’s the truth.”
Although not regarded as highly in the prospect conversation as Pepiot or Grove, Jackson has garnered the attention of Dodgers decision-makers. He’s yet to allow an earned run in six innings of spring action and has seven strikeouts across three games.
Despite posting a 5.00 ERA across 75.2 innings in 21 games (19 starts) with Triple-A Oklahoma City last season, Jackson has a 2.11 ERA across 21.1 innings of work in big league action over parts of the past two seasons. However, he has not eclipsed four appearances in single a season since his debut in 2021.
While L.A. will surely miss the 28-year-old Gonsolin’s presence early in 2023, their optimistic internal options of young arms indicate that they will surely manage through the first week or two of the season.
But there could potentially be some concern if Pepiot’s side discomfort ends up becoming more than just a benign issue that cut his most recent outing short. Furthermore, Grove has struggled in the first inning of his last two starts.
Jackson impressing in Dodgers Spring Training
Jackson’s success this spring was a recent talking point for Roberts, who credited the right-hander for his continued development.
Because of a rainout pushing Clayton Kershaw’s start back one day last week, Jackson and Noah Syndergaard took the mound in separate B games on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.
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