Dodgers News: Ryan Pepiot Talks First Start of Spring, What Felt Good

The prospect is making significant progress and is focused on refining his pitches.

As the Dodgers gear up for another season of baseball, one of their top prospects, Ryan Pepiot, recently took the mound for his first start of the spring. Pepiot was initially selected by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2019 MLB draft, and made his first major league debut last season.

During his spring debut on Monday, the prospect pitched a scoreless inning against the Padres. Following the game, Pepiot spoke to the media about his performance and what he felt good about in his first start of the spring.

“It felt good to be out there again. My first game in a long time, so it’s good to have that under my belt. … Definitely a confidence booster, build off that one and go to the next. Definitely nice to have some success, good defense behind me, and good to see us put up a few runs, too.”

Although it was just one inning, it is good to know that Pepiot is feeling comfortable and ready to go. Pepiot went up against four All-star caliber hitters including Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, and Matt Carpenter. The pitcher talked about how it was facing these players: 

“It’s obviously a nice test, I got to face Mookie [Betts] and Freddie [Freeman] the other day, and JD [Martinez], so I got thrown into the fire early. But it’s nice to play those guys, see some of the lineup that we’ll see later on this year, and just get those at-bats under my belt.”

Pepiot was able to showcase his slider which got Machado out for strike three. It proved to be a tough one for hitters to handle. The righty talked about how that pitch felt:

“Yeah, more consistent, turn left a little more, have a little more movement to miss some barrels and get some swing and miss. Obviously, trying to get weak contact, I got Bogaerts to hit a weak groundball on a slider, so just being able to see weak contact and the swing and miss with it, definitely nice.”

Pepiot also threw a few changeups in his outing, which he has been working on developing since coming through the minors. He is excited about the progress he’s made with it so far:

“Yeah, it feels better,” he said with a smile. “Landing it for a strike, throwing it for a strike to lefties and it’s not running all the way off the plate for me, got some good swing and miss on Machado and Cruz, so id definitely feels like I’m getting close to back where I was.”

It seems like Pepiot was pleased with his first start of the spring, but he also knows there’s still work to be done. Fans will expect to see him getting back on the mound and continue to refine his pitches as he prepares for the season.

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