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Josiah Gray throwing again, Scott Alexander nearing return

Monday in the Dodgers minors: an OKC comeback, opening day in Arizona

Los Angeles Angels v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray has been out since early May with a shoulder impingement. He has been throwing to hitters in batting practice and in simulated games of late but his timetable for pitching again remains unclear.

Had Gray been healthy, he would have likely been called up at some point to start after Dustin May injured his elbow. But with that plan scuttled, and Tony Gonsolin now in the Dodgers’ rotation, the organization is considering whether to use Gray in a relief role in the majors at some point this season.

From Juan Toribio at

“I think there’s going to be a point where we’re gonna have to make a decision as an organization,” Roberts said. “We’ll make that decision [whether to use him as a starter or reliever] at some point, but that doesn’t happen until he gets built up to a couple of innings anyway.”

Player of the day

Scott Alexander pitched his third game for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and his fourth game overall on his minor league rehab assignment. He retired all three batters he faced in the sixth inning, getting a ground out, pop out, and strikeout.

Alexander last pitched in the majors on May 1 and is on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation. Part of the reason he was transferred to the 60-day IL was because of the long layoff after the injury, during which he didn’t throw while waiting for the inflammation to subside.

“After the injury, 10-14 days, I was feeling good, but because of that non-throwing I had to go through, essentially, a spring training kind of build up,” Alexander explained a few weeks back.

Up next this week for Alexander is pitching in back-to-back games for Oklahoma City, likely the last box he needs to check before getting activated. If the second of back-to-back outings doesn’t come Tuesday night, the soonest he could pitch on consecutive days is Thursday-Friday. The earliest date Alexander can be activated from the injured list is Friday, once his 60 days are up, so it seems a Tuesday appearance is more likely then two more games later in the week. He’ll join the Dodgers in Washington D.C. at some point this weekend.

“Hopefully, if things go well, a July second or third activation is in the cards,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City scored twice in the ninth to tie, then got a run in the 11th to steal a win on the road over the Sugar Land Skeeters (Astros).

Trailing 4-2 against Ronel Blanco in the ninth, Cristian Santana walked, then singles by Omar Estevez and Elliot Soto loaded the bases with nobody out. Drew Avans walked to force in a run, then Yoshi Tsutsugo grounded into a double play for the first two outs of the inning as the tying run scored.

Santana singled home free runner DJ Peters for the winning run in the 11th. Ryan Moseley, who got the win, and Kevin Quackenbush, who saved it, allowed no hits in the two extra innings that started with a runner on second base.

Arizona Complex League

Monday was opening day for what used to be known as the Arizona League or the Arizona Rookie League, but with rebranding under the MLB umbrella, all the rookie-level games played at team facilities in the Cactus League is now called the Arizona Complex League. Similarly, the former Gulf Coast League is now called the Florida Complex League.

The ACL Dodgers lost to the ACL Angels 9-8 in their opening game, but a few performances stood out. The Dodgers got two home runs each from 20-year-old Panamanian outfielder Jose Ramos and 21-year-old Luis Yanel Diaz, an infielder from the Dominican Republic who played third base on Monday.

Outfielder Jake Vogel, the Dodgers’ third-round draft pick last year, on the injured list the last four weeks for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, played in a rehab game in Arizona, going 0-for-2 with a walk and played six innings in center field.

Kelvin Bautista, the 21-year-old left-hander acquired from the Rangers on June 17 in the Dennis Santana trade, made his Dodgers debut by recording four outs without allowing a run, with two walks and a strikeout.

Editorial note: Other than when newsworthy events happen, like this opening day, we’re going to keep the minor league report to the top four Dodgers affiliates. Here is the daily scoreboard for the ACL to bookmark for future reference.

Weekly awards

Monday is an off day for three of the four affiliates, but there was still news. Two Dodgers were named pitcher of the week.

In Triple-A West, Oklahoma City right-hander Aaron Wilkerson took the honors after striking out eight and walking none in six scoreless innings on Thursday against Sugar Land (Astros). The 32-year-old Wilkerson has thrown strikes all season for Oklahoma City, with 50 strikeouts and 10 walks in his nine starts. In five of his last six starts, Wilkerson has allowed two or fewer runs, including three scoreless starts, giving him a 3.86 ERA in a league that’s averaging 6.09 runs per game. This is the second pitcher of the week honor this season for Wilkerson, who also won for the week of May 24-30.

In Double-A Central, Ryan Pepiot was dominant with six scoreless innings on Wednesday, one of five starts allowing zero or one hit this season. The 23-year-old has a 1.47 ERA in eight starts for Tulsa, with 43 strikeouts and 15 walks in 30⅔ innings. Pepiot is the first Drillers player to win a weekly award this season.

Both honorees are back on the mound on Tuesday.

Monday score

Tuesday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (TBD) at Fort Wayne [Padres] (Gabe Mosser)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Aaron Wilkerson) at Sugar Land (Brett Conine)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Ryan Pepiot) vs. Arkansas [Mariners] (Alejandro Requena)
  • 6:50 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Jimmy Lewis) at Fresno [Rockies] (Sam Weatherly)