The Dodgers are back in Los Angeles following a 10-game road trip, but after the comfort of everyone sleeping in their own beds, Monday will bring with it at least a few questions.
For one, Gavin Stone’s immediate future in the Dodgers rotation is in question, after he allowed seven runs in only two innings on Sunday morning against the Rays. Stone has allowed more runs than innings pitched in all three of his major league starts to date, with a 14.40 ERA in 10 innings, with more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five).
“Given how today went, it’s prudent to just reassess and make sure that whatever we do is best for Gavin and best for us,” Roberts said, noting that fellow rookie Michael Grove could offer the Dodgers another rotation option.
“We’ll all get together and figure out the best course of action,” Roberts added. “Because I think, like most things, you could debate either way. So that’s what we’ll have to figure out.”
Stone’s next turn would come Saturday against the Yankees at Dodger Stadium. If he’s not making that start, the obvious choice is Grove, who struck out seven in 5⅔ scoreless innings in his second rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday.
It’s worth noting that immediately after a game is almost never the time a decision would be made publicly. My guess is getting together and figuring out the best course of action just means the team hasn’t yet had a chance to talk with Stone, and didn’t want to immediately throw him under the bus after the game.
But if I’m a betting man, Grove makes the next start in that slot in the rotation, with a fresh reliever up from Triple-A for the three or four games in between now and then.
Max Muncy will have an MRI on Monday in Los Angeles after exiting Sunday’s game in the third inning with a cramp in his left hamstring.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Muncy said, with an electronic stimulator machine affixed to the hamstring. “(Roberts) made the decision that it was better to just come out now and get ahead of it instead of missing a month or two with something worse.”
After Trayce Thompson ended his 0-for-39 skid with three hits, including a home run on Sunday, James Outman has the longest slump on the team.
The Dodgers rookie outfielder has no hits in his last 20 at-bats with 12 strikeouts, and is hitting just .162/.259/.297 in May, after winning National League rookie of the month in April.
“Every season that I’ve ever had, there’s been ups and downs,” the rookie outfielder said, currently mired in a serious down period. “It’s one of those things where something will click and I’ll come out of it. I feel like if there’s one thing I can do, it’s get hot. I’ve done it every season. I’ve had stretches where I’ve been really hot. So I’m not so much worried. I just want it to happen sooner than later.”
With the slump has understandably come reduced playing time for Outman. He has played in 53 of the Dodgers’ 54 games, starting 44 times. Outman did not start three of the last four games, including sitting twice against right-handed pitchers.
He didn’t start Sunday, but was pressed into duty in the third inning after Muncy exited the game. Outman struck out three times in three at-bats.