Injuries to Dustin May and Julio Urías have set the stage for the Dodgers’ top two pitching prospects, Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller, to start Monday and Tuesday, respectively in Atlanta.
“It’s a great opportunity for these young pitchers,” said Roberts, despite not being able to announce Miller’s debut officially. “They’re both talented. It’s not what we expected. But that doesn’t really matter. The only way to look at it is, you’ve got to embrace this opportunity for these guys.”
Tuesday will be Miller’s major league debut. He was slowed by shoulder soreness during spring, and since joining Triple-A Oklahoma City has a 5.65 ERA in four starts. His best outing was last Wednesday with six strong inning against Sugar Land, allowing only one run while striking out six.
Stone will make his second major league start, having debuted on May 3. Manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that Stone will get an extended look in May’s spot in the rotation.
“I think the unfamiliarity, the novelty of it, I think that we’ve already done that,” Roberts said of Stone, per Joe Harris of MLB.com. “And I think he’s thrown the baseball better in general. The changeup is better, the fastball command is better. So, I just think that that second time around, I think that he’ll be a lot more comfortable than he was the first time.”
Since his major league debut, the right-hander allowed four runs (three earned) in 11 innings, with 14 strikeouts. That included a season-high 10 strikeouts in a season-high 5⅔ innings last Tuesday.
Miller and Stone started the season eighth and ninth on the rotation depth chart, and they were expected to contribute at some point this year. It just came a little earlier than expected with four starters on the injured list.
“It’s not what we expected. But that doesn’t really matter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of turning to the two prospects so early in the season. “So I think the only way to look at it is we’ve got to embrace this opportunity for these guys, and it’s up to all of us to make them comfortable and able to perform at a high level, because it shouldn’t be on … (them) to carry the brunt of it. It’s not.”
Stone and Miller will both be pitching against the Braves on five days rest.
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