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Dodgers option Gavin Stone to Triple-A, recall Alex Vesia

Opens door for Michael Grove to start this weekend

Los Angeles Dodgers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Dodgers on Tuesday optioned Gavin Stone to Triple-A Oklahoma City after a pair of rough starts last week in his second stint in the majors. Alex Vesia was recalled from Triple-A to add a ninth pitcher to the bullpen.

This move paves the way for Michael Grove to rejoin the rotation after two rehab starts in Triple-A. Grove was at Dodger Stadium on Monday, with Dave Roberts telling reporters the right-hander would throw a bullpen this week. Grove has been on the injured list with a right groin strain since April 21.

Presumably, Grove will start Saturday against the Yankees at Dodger Stadium, in what would have been Stone’s turn in the rotation.

Stone getting sent down was fairly obvious once he walked off the mound Sunday morning having allowed 10 hits to his 16 batters faced, and seven runs in two innings. The right-hander has a 14.40 ERA in three starts with the Dodgers this season, with more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five).

If there’s any example for Stone to use in order to turn things back in his favor — not that he needs one; long-term, he’ll likely be fine — Vesia could be inspirational.

Vesia was off to a horrendous start in the majors this season, allowing 23 hits in just 10⅓ innings and 59 batters faced, with a 7.84 ERA and 5.02 xERA. Despite getting optioned on May 3, Vesia led the Dodgers bullpen in hits allowed on the season until last Wednesday in Atlanta, when Phil Bickford finally passed him, in more than double the innings.

In Vesia’s first game back in Triple-A, he allowed five runs, including an ultra-rare two home runs to left-handed batters. But since then, starting with his May 7 outing, Vesia struck out 18 of his 37 batters faced while allowing only one unearned run in 9⅓ innings over nine appearances.