A multitude of injuries within the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has created an opportunity for Michael Grove, who himself missed time this season because of a right groin strain.
Grove was part of the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster because Tony Gonsolin (sprained left ankle) and Ryan Pepiot (strained left oblique) were unavailable, and he made four starts before missing more than one month due to his own injury.
Aside from allowing two home runs to Jake Bauers, Grove impressed against the New York Yankees in his return from the 15-day injured list. Included in that was Grove throwing both his slider and fastball at increased velocities.
The right-hander was next scheduled to start in the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, but Grove instead followed an opener in Victor González. He allowed four runs over four innings of a no-decision in the Dodgers’ walk-off loss to the Phillies.
Following the game, Grove expressed some displeasure with his performance, via SportsNet LA:
“To be honest, I think I got a little bit lucky early. I just didn’t throw the ball well at all today. Made a few pitches when I needed to, but stuff piled up on me. Just wasn’t executing.”
Grove added he was particularly frustrated over not building any momentum from a start that saw him set a career high with seven strikeouts:
“I need to look at the tape. It’s a little frustrating. I thought I turned the corner last week, and not as crisp today. So I need to look at some things.”
Although Friday’s relief appearance was Grove’s first time following an opener at the Major League level, he noted that was not to blame for struggling:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever done it at this level. It was a different thing, but that’s not an excuse at all. When I get out there, I’ve got to do my job. I didn’t do my job today.”
Now having allowed four earned runs in back-to-back starts, Grove sports an 8.28 ERA. It initially skyrocketed due to allowing nine runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks in just 3.1 innings pitched on April 9.
Dodgers leaning on Michael Grove, Bobby Miller
With Urías’ return from a strained left hamstring delayed and Noah Syndergaard going on the IL amid his season-long struggles, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said one byproduct is Grove and Bobby Miller both getting extended opportunities moving forward.
As such, the Dodgers will need Grove’s performances to improve if he’s remaining in the starting rotation.
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