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Dodgers 2020 draft picks shine on minor league opening day

Bobby Miller (Great Lakes) and Gavin Stone (Rancho Cucamonga) each pitched three scoreless innings Tuesday

A pair of pitchers drafted by the Dodgers in 2020 made their professional debut on Tuesday night, with Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone each pitching scoreless ball in opening day starts.

Player(s) of the day

Miller, the first-round pick out of Louisville, started the season for Great Lakes, now a High-A affiliate, and was up to the challenge, striking out five in three scoreless innings, allowing only two singles and a walk.

Stone, the Dodgers’ fifth-rounder last year out of Central Arkansas, got the call for Rancho Cucamonga, which switched to a Low-A affiliate this season. Stone also pitched three scoreless frames, allowing only a single and walk while striking out six.

Double-A Tulsa

Michael Busch had a rough Double-A debut, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts at the plate, then missed a catch for an error in the seventh inning, allowing the winning run to score in a 4-3 loss to the Amarillo Sod Poodles (D-backs).

Gerardo Carillo, one of two 40-man pitchers on the Drillers’ roster, got the start on opening day, striking out four in three innings while allowing a pair of runs. Left-hander Guillermo Zuniga got the tough-luck loss in relief, recording a strikeout for four of his five outs, allowing an unearned run.

Ryan Noda, acquired from Toronto in the Ross Stripling trade, homered and walked in both his Dodgers and Double-A debut. Shortstop Jacob Amaya also homered for the Drillers.

High-A Great Lakes

Miguel Vargas, the top hitting prospect on the Loons, batted leadoff on Tuesday and hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning. But Great Lakes got very little pitching after Miller’s three innings, suffering a 9-4 defeat to the Dayton Dragons (Reds).

But we did get to see Morgan Cooper, the Dodgers’ second-round pick out of Texas in 2017, finally make his professional debut, after a long string of injuries. It was a rough first outing for the right-hander, who allowed three runs in the ninth inning. Cooper walked two and allowed a single, though none of the runs scored until after he left the game, mostly courtesy of a grand slam by second baseman Quincy McAfee off Melvin Jimenez.

Austin Chubb, the 32-year-old manager of Great Lakes, is the only former Loons player to return as manager. Though his playing career in Great Lakes consisted of only one game in 2015. He talked to Hugh Bernreuter of about the distinction:

“I actually only played one game and was only here for 48 hours,” Chubb said. “One of their catchers, Brant Whiting, had a wedding so he was put on the inactive list. I was at Rancho (Cucamonga) at the time, so they sent me to Midland to fill in.”

Chubb played in one game, a 1-0 win on May 15, 2015.

“I got in to Saginaw at 8 a.m., and they had a 10 a.m. kids game that day that I didn’t play in,” Chubb said. “But the next night I caught, and we won 1-0 with Grant Holmes getting the win. I went 0-for-2 with a walk.

“After that game, I was headed back to Rancho. I’m undefeated here, and I make sure to bring that up.”

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes were the lone Dodgers affiliate to win on Tuesday, bringing the heat in a 3-1 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). After Stone struck out six, so did right-hander Jeisson Cabrera in his two innings. Five pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts, setting a franchise record.

Catcher Wladimir Chalo was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, and 2020 third-round pick Jake Vogel walked and stole a base in his professional debut, playing center field and batting leadoff for the Quakes.

Tuesday scores

Wednesday schedule

  • 3:05 p.m.: Great Lakes (Robinson Ortiz) vs. Dayton (Eduardo Salazar)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Andre Jackson) vs. Amarillo (Tommy Henry)
  • 7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Robbie Peto) at Inland Empire (John Swanda)

Triple-A Oklahoma City starts its schedule on Thursday.