In the wake of Dustin May being placed on the 15-day injured list with a right flexor pronator strain, Gavin Stone has entered the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation for the time being, and the pitching prospect was tasked with facing a tough Atlanta Braves lineup in his second career MLB start.
Stone endured a rough first inning, as an RBI single by Sean Murphy and three-run homer from Eddie Rosario put the Dodgers in an early 4-0 hole.
The right-hander was able to bounce back with three consecutive scoreless frames before falling into more trouble in the fifth when he walked two hitters on eight consecutive balls. Stone’s final line on the night was four-plus innings pitched, five hits, five runs, five walks and one strikeout.
After the Dodgers’ 8-6 win, Stone said he was encouraged with his outing and complimented the bullpen for picking him up, via SportsNet LA:
“It was good. I think it’s just more of me getting my feet under me and being more comfortable. But yeah, I felt good. I’m thankful our bullpen kept it going and put up some zeros late in the game and got us the win. I’m very thankful for that.”
Stone also praised Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior for helping him find his composure after a rocky start:
“Mark (Prior) came over after the first inning and just kind of settled me down a little bit. It helped a lot. I was able to re-focus and just make pitches that I wasn’t making in the first inning. That was a huge help.”
Stone went into detail about the conversation he had with Prior, revealing the former first-round draft pick told him to believe in himself:
“Just to stay confident, I’m good enough to be here and just believe in myself. That was pretty much it. … I think it’s good for everybody to hear that once in a while. I’m super thankful for him coming over and sharing a little bit of information with me.”
Although his outing didn’t start the way he wanted, it is encouraging that Stone was able to calm down and pitch into the fifth inning. The 24-year-old will make a minimum of two more starts for the Dodgers and look to build on his success when he next takes the mound.
Gavin Stone & Bobby Miller have ‘great opportunity’
As the Dodgers rotation deals with a rash of injuries, manager Dave Roberts believes Stone and Bobby Miller have a chance to show they belong in the Majors for the long run.
Miller follows Stone in the rotation for his MLB debut in the Dodgers’ second game against the Braves on Tuesday.
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