The Dodgers on Wednesday activated pitcher Ryan Pepiot off the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he’s been pitching for nearly weeks on a rehab assignment.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Tyson Miller was designated for assignment.
Pepiot pitched four innings for Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, allowing one run with four strikeouts in his fourth rehab start, working his way back from a left oblique strain that sidelined him since opening day. He’s been stretching out from scratch in Triple-A, almost like a second spring training, in case the Dodgers need another starting option over the season’s final two months.
Back in actual spring training, Pepiot beat out Michael Grove for the Dodgers fifth starter spot left vacant with Tony Gonsolin sidelined with an ankle injury. But after straining the oblique during the exhibition Freeway Series against the Angels, Pepiot was placed on the injured list on opening day.
The top seven pitchers on the Dodgers rotation depth chart have all landed on the injured list at some point this season, and that doesn’t even include Walker Buehler, who is aiming for a return from Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair at some point this September.
“I’m just happy we caught it pretty early, so hopefully it doesn’t linger on too long,” Pepiot said on opening day.
But it took three and a half months for Pepiot to see time on a mound in a competitive game, starting his rehab assignment on July 14. In four rehab starts in Triple-A, Pepiot allowed eight runs in 12 innings, with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
Miller was optioned by the Dodgers on Sunday when Lance Lynn was activated, though the right-hander did not head to Oklahoma City. Instead, he stuck around at Dodger Stadium and was throwing before Tuesday’s game.
Miller said he was told to stay with the team “just in case,” as the Dodgers sorted through the end of the trade deadline and Julio Urías going through a bullpen session to test his left index finger making sure he could make Thursday’s start (he will).
The Dodgers acquired Miller from the Brewers for cash considerations on July 12, and the Indio native and former Cal Baptist pitcher appeared in two games for Oklahoma City before getting the call up to the Dodgers on July 26.
Miller appeared in one game for the Dodgers, allowing two runs in two innings in relief. He was the 32nd pitcher used by the team this season, a total that has since grown to 35, tied with Tampa Bay for the most pitchers used by a team this season. Once new trade acquisition Ryan Yarbrough joins the team, he’ll likely be No. 36.
Pepiot can also join that total if he gets called up at some point over the final two months.