Michael Grove pitched into the sixth inning in his second rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, getting closer to providing the Dodgers another option in the major league starting rotation as their depth gets tested.
Grove struck out seven and walked none while keeping Sacramento scoreless on Saturday, allowing only five singles.
That'll do it for Michael Grove tonight in the second start of his rehab assignment.— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) May 28, 2023
He throws 5.2 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts! pic.twitter.com/HbZn0OPcB4
Rehab start #2 for Michael Grove was really, really good.— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) May 28, 2023
5.2 IP | 5 H | 0 R | 0 BB | 7 K
77 pitches/56 strikes
All 5 hits were singles. Had some trouble keeping the leadoff guy off base (on 4x), but held Sacramento 0-for-13 with runners on. #Dodgers
Grove averaged 95.2 mph on his fastball, hitting 97.3 mph on Saturday, after averaging 95.4 mph in his first rehab start last Sunday. The right-hander averaged 93.9 mph on his fastball in four major league starts this season, and averaged 94.4 mph in the majors last year.
But the slider was the pitch Grove threw most often on Saturday, and for good reason. He got 12 swinging strikes on the pitch, finishing off all seven strikeouts with the pitch.
Grove has been sidelined since April 21 with a right groin strain. In two rehab starts in Triple-A, he’s allowed two runs in 10 innings, with 14 strikeouts and a 35.9-percent strikeout rate.
He allowed 15 runs in 16 innings with the Dodgers this season, though the first two of those starts came while Grove was battling an illness. He allowed three runs in 8⅔ innings in his last two starts, leaving on April 20 with the groin injury.
In the last two weeks, covering 12 games, Dodgers starting pitchers have a 6.31 ERA while averaging 4.27 innings per start. Even removing the game Dustin May left after one inning as an anomaly, Dodgers starters are averaging only 4.58 innings during that time.
Grove doesn’t line up exactly with the struggling Noah Syndergaard, who’s slated to start Wednesday against the Nationals. That would be only three days rest for Grove, for instance. But with Julio Urías going to miss more than 15 days on the injured list with his left hamstring strain, Grove could at least give the Dodgers another viable option to start in the majors in relatively short order.