The Dodgers optioned pitcher Ryan Pepiot to Triple-A Oklahoma City one day after making his major league debut, adding a fresh arm for the weekend series against the Phillies in right-hander Yency Almonte, who had his contract selected from Triple-A.
Pepiot was wild in his debut on Wednesday afternoon, walking five and hitting a batter in three innings of work, but he kept the Pirates off the board. He struck out three.
The Dodgers are about a week into a stretch in which they play 31 games in 30 days, and Pepiot the day before his debut understood his first major league stint could be brief.
“I know there’s a lot of games in the next month a row, and there was somebody that’s needed for [Wednesday],” Pepiot told reporters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, per SportsNet LA. If that’s me, then I’m going in as if it’s one day. This is a talented ball club, so just being here for one day is amazing.”
Getting sent down doesn’t necessarily prevent Pepiot from getting the call when the Dodgers will next need a spot starter. They have a doubleheader on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, and players called up as the extra 27th player for doubleheaders are not subject to waiting the required 15 days on optional assignment before returning to the majors, nor would returning to the minors after one day back count as a second time Pepiot is optioned this season.
Yency Almonte, like fellow non-roster invitee call-ups Carson Fulmer and Robbie Erlin before him, is out of options, having used them in 2017-19. But Almonte was pitching about as well as anyone on Oklahoma City, striking out 42 percent of his batters while posting a 3.52 ERA in 11 appearances, with 25 strikeouts against only one walk in 15⅓ innings.
The Dodgers signed Almonte to a minor league contract on March 16. He pitched parts of the last four seasons with the Rockies, posting a 5.30 ERA and 4.83 FIP with 113 strikeouts and 53 walks in 124 innings. He turns 28 in June.
Almonte will wear uniform number 38.