LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers on Friday made official the call-up of Emmet Sheehan, who was selected from Double-A Tulsa to make his major league debut against the Giants. Michael Grove was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, keeping the Dodgers at four starting pitchers for the immediate future.
Sheehan had a 1.86 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 53⅓ innings in 12 games, including 10 starts for Tulsa. The 6’5 right-hander was rated as the No. 62 prospect in baseball in Baseball America’s latest top-100 update.
“Sheehan has one of the most overwhelming fastballs in the minors with its mid-90s velocity and unique movement out of his low release point,” said BA’s scouting report. “His slider and control have taken big leaps forward in 2023 to help him dominate Double-A and improve his probability of starting.”
Sheehan, who is the first Dodger to wear number 80, is the sixth Dodger to make their major league debut this season, and the first of the bunch to do so directly from Double-A.
“This is a big day, man. It seems we’ve had this conversation a lot this year, with Dodger farmhands making their debuts,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I can’t remember the last time we’ve had so many young arms in the rotation.”
Adding Sheehan gives the Dodgers 40 players on their 40-man roster.
Sheehan will likely get at least two starts in this major league stint. The Dodgers have off days Monday and Thursday next week in addition to Monday, June 26 off. If they wanted to, they could get by with only four starting pitchers through June 30, though that would require a number of starts on four days rest.
Julio Urías might return from his hamstring injury during that time. By the next time the Dodgers have a stretch of five game days in a row, on July 1, Grove will be eligible to return after 15 days on optional assignment, if Urías isn’t back by then.
Grove since returning from the injured list on June 3 allowed exactly four runs in each of his three games, totaling 12 runs in 14 innings, with six home runs allowed. On the season, Grove has an 8.10 ERA in 30 innings, with 30 strikeouts and nine walks.
“Michael was pitching fine, gave us fine innings yesterday,” Roberts said. “But in the bullpen, we need that length a little bit, too.”
Sending Grove down keeps the Dodgers at nine relievers in the bullpen, which should provide ample support for this three-game series as well as two games next week in Anaheim surrounded by off days Monday and Thursday.
But after Evan Phillips and Shelby Miller each pitched two innings on Thursday, and after Yency Almonte pitched on each of the last two nights, and perhaps some others, the Dodgers bullpen will be somewhat limited on Friday.
Sheehan has pitched at least five innings in five of his 12 games this season, including in three of his last five games. He’s thrown 88, 86, and 94 pitches in his last three starts and will be fully stretched out for his major league debut, pitching on six days rest.
“There are some guys, given what we’ve gone through the last few days, who aren’t going to pitch today,” Roberts said. “To have some length out of Emmet would be great.”