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Josiah Gray makes his first start in 2 months for Triple-A Oklahoma City

Top Dodgers prospect pitches 2 perfect innings for OKC

Josiah Gray pitches for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers on July 4, 2021, in his first game back after missing two months with a right shoulder impingement.

For the first time in two months, Dodgers pitcher Josiah Gray was back on the mound, starting for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday night, putting the club’s top prospect back on the radar for potential major league use at some point this season.

Gray, sidelined since May 11 with a right shoulder impingement, pitched two innings against the Salt Lake Bees (Angels), throwing 27 pitches while retiring all six batters he faced, striking out one. No balls were hit to the outfield.

When healthy, Gray would have been No. 6 on the Dodgers’ starting depth chart behind the five pitchers in the major league rotation. But with Trevor Bauer on administrative leave and under investigation for alleged assault, the rotation is no longer five deep.

For the moment, the Dodgers will fill innings using bullpen games, like on Sunday, when they used eight pitchers to hold the Nationals to one run in completing a four-game sweep. Another bullpen game will likely come next weekend before the All-Star break.

Manager Dave Roberts on Sunday identified Gray as a pitcher who could potentially give the Dodgers five innings on a regular basis.

Gray is not on the 40-man roster, but that’s a mere formality once he’s deemed ready. A consensus top-100 prospect in MLB, the 23-year-old right-hander will likely need a few more minor league outings to stretch out.