Gavin Stone Proving To Be ‘Dependable’ For Dodgers Rotation

Gavin Stone was initially projected to be a depth piece for the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation this season, but Walker Buehler’s delayed start and multiple injuries have thrust him into a larger role.

Stone won a Spring Training competition to be named the Dodgers’ fifth starter, beating out the likes of Landon Knack, Kyle Hurt, Michael Grove and Ryan Yarbrough. Emmet Sheehan had fallen out of contention due to a right elbow injury that has since required Tommy John surgery.

Stone making an Opening Day roster for the first time in his career was followed by some uneven performances, but he’s found a better rhythm since the end of April.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lauded Stone for his impressive string of starts and being reliable, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think for me as a manager, you want all your players to be dependable and know what you’re gonna get when they go out there and play and he’s becoming that,” Roberts said of Stone. “He’s on a nice run right now and I think this is who he is. He’s only going to get better.”

Dating back to pitching a career-high seven innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 26, Stone is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA and held opponents to a .194/.242/.301 batting line over four starts.

The Dodgers also won the game in which Stone didn’t receive a decision in, and he’s completed at least six innings in each of the four outings.

Overall this season the Dodgers are 6-2 in games started by Stone.

One key to his success has been reducing changeup usage, despite that being Stone’s most highly-regarded pitch.

Another change for the 25-year-old has been changing from jersey No. 71 to 35.

Gavin Stone’s confidence

After enduring some struggles upon making his MLB debut last year, Stone spent the offseason working to address pitch tipping and in turn he’s gained growing confidence throughout this season.

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