The Dodgers officially called up pitcher Gavin Stone to make his major league debut on Wednesday against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium. To make room on the active roster, Alex Vesia was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Stone is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, with an average ranking of 53rd in MLB across Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB Pipeline, The Athletic, ESPN, and FanGraphs. Stone’s highest prospect ranking was 39th, by Keith Law at The Athletic.
“His command and control are the only things keeping him from a major-league rotation right now, as they’re no better than grade 45,” Law wrote in January, “but he’s also not that far away, and he repeats his delivery well enough that I expect him to get to average or better soon and end up at least a No. 3 starter.”
Stone had a 4.74 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, though he was much sharper in his last two starts, allowing one run in 9⅔ innings with 15 strikeouts. His call up to the majors was first reported on Saturday night.
His changeup is his best pitch, getting a 47.6-percent whiff rate on the pitch, even while throwing it 179 times in his six starts. For reference, the only MLB starters who have thrown at least 100 changeups this year with a higher whiff rate than Stone’s Triple-A rate are Shane McClanahan (54.7 percent), Trevor Richards (53.5 percent), and Jesús Luzardo (49.1 percent).
Alex Vesia was off to a rocky start to his season, with a 7.84 ERA in his 13 appearances, allowing nine runs on 23 hits in his 10⅓ innings. Opponents are hitting .434/.492/.585 off Vesia, whose 23 hits allowed are second-most among major league relievers this season, one behind Jakob Junis.
Vesia has allowed at least one hit in all but one of his outings, and walked a batter in the game he didn’t give up a hit, recording two outs.
“We’ve still got to see more consistency out of Alex,” manager Dave Roberts said Friday.
Adding Stone gives the Dodgers 39 players on the 40-man roster.