Saturday in the Dodgers minors was all about top-notch pitching prospects. The closest one to the majors stood out.
Player of the day
Josiah Gray made his second start back since returning from a shoulder impingement, and struck out four in four innings in Triple-A. Oklahoma City play-by-play announcer Alex Freedman was on hand for the performance:
Gray allowed an infield single in the 4th but gets through the entire inning before reaching his pitch limit. Gets a big chest bump from pitching coach Jamey Wright when walking into the dugout.— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) July 11, 2021
Line: 4.0 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Retired 12 of 13 batters faced. 53 pitches total.
Gray has retired 18 of 19 batters faced since getting activated from the injured list.
The results on Saturday were great, but perhaps more important was that Gray stretched out to four innings. The Dodgers’ top pitching prospect is the most likely in-house addition to the major league pitching staff, but manager Dave Roberts has said multiple times he’d like to see Gray stretched out to five innings before seeing him in Los Angeles.
That Gray is already at four innings is a good sign, and could potentially reach that threshold during the major league All-Star break. That’s excellent timing for the Dodgers, who currently have three active starting pitchers, plus David Price who just pitched three innings for the first time all season. With Clayton Kershaw’s return from the injured list potentially imminent soon after the break but still unclear, having a healthy and ready Gray to call on would be a welcome sight.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City hit three home runs to back Gray and beat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). Two of the home runs came from unlikely sources, with second baseman Omar Estevez having four hits and finishing a triple shy of the cycle, and Olympian Tim Federowicz hitting his third homer of the season.
Kevin Quackenbush, the 32-year-old OKC closer, got the final out for his 12th save. He has a 0.00 ERA in Triple-A, allowing two unearned runs in his 22 innings.
Three early homers gave Tulsa a 6-0 win after two innings in a win over the Springfield Cardinals. Carlos Rincon hit a three-run shot in the first, then in the second the Drillers got home runs from Donovan Casey and Hunter Feduccia.
Ryan Pepiot allowed one hit in four innings, the seventh time in 11 games he’s allowed zero or one hit. The run Pepiot allowed came in the second inning, courtesy of three straight walks and a sacrifice fly. The right-hander struck out six.
High-A Great Lakes
Bobby Miller allowed two whole runs and got hung with the loss in Great Lakes’ fourth straight defeat at the hands of the Lansing Lugnuts (A’s). Miller walked two and struck out one in his four innings.
James Outman and Justin Yurchak each had two hits in defeat.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Eddys Leonard and Diego Cartaya homered in the Quakes win over the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Leonard hit a two-run shot in the third inning and reached base four times. Cartaya hit a three-run shot in the fourth and drove in four runs in the win.
- Oklahoma City 8, El Paso 5
- Tulsa 9, Springfield 5
- Lansing 4, Great Lakes 2
- Rancho Cucamonga 9, Lake Elsinore 5
- 10:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Landon Knack) vs. Lansing (Colin Peluse)
- 4:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Bryan Brickhouse) at Springfield (Andre Pallante)
- 5 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Kendall Williams) vs. Lake Elsinore (Jesus Lugo)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Aaron Wilkerson) at El Paso (Miguel Díaz)