Gavin Stone ‘Incredibly Thankful’ For To Be Named Dodgers’ 5th Starting Pitcher

The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Spring Training with several pitchers competing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. After an impressive showing, Gavin Stone will round out the staff come Opening Day.

“Doc told me [Monday] that I was going to be the fifth starter,” Stone said. “I’m incredibly thankful for that and the opportunity that they’re giving me. Very appreciative. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it.”

Stone beat out the likes of Landon Knack, Kyle Hurt, Grove and Ryan Yarbrough to take the final spot in the Dodgers rotation. The right-hander pitched well in Cactus League play, allowing just one run allowed and collecting nine strikeouts over 9.2 innings pitched (four games; three starts).

That was followed by collecting eight strikeouts over 3.1 no-hit innings in a relief appearance against Team Korea on Monday.

Stone struggled with inconsistency during his brief time in the Majors last season, which can be attributed in some part to tipping pitches and a blister on his right foot that led to multiple issues.

The 25-year-old spent the offseason working to correct his pitch tipping issue and also added muscle to better prepare himself for the physical demands of a full season.

“It’s awesome,” Stone said of his success this spring. “It goes back to the work that I put in during the offseason, fine-tuning some stuff, gaining some more control, gaining more confidence, better mound presence.

“You tie all that together and hopefully it’s a good recipe and hopefully we can ride it all year long.”

Dave Roberts impressed with Gavin Stone’s ‘maturity’

Aside from the strong results he enjoyed this spring, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been impressed with Stone’s growth as a pitcher. “I think the thing that stands out most with Gavin is his maturity,” Roberts began.

“I think when you see a young player, you can tell things speed up. Now, it just seems like things have slowed down for him. And as far as on the mound, the misses are the right misses, there’s much more consistent execution and the stuff is holding.

“Just across the board, it was good to see him build on last year, take it into the spring and get ready for the season.”

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