Ryan Pepiot’s remarkable emergence with the Dodgers last year, during which he showcased his pitching prowess over 36.1 innings with a 3.47 ERA, was an exciting revelation. The young and talented pitcher not only possessed an impressive fastball but also flaunted an elite changeup, raising hopes for a bright future. As the 2023 season approached, Pepiot secured the fifth spot in the rotation, demonstrating his potential. However, an oblique injury struck, leading to his placement on the 60-day injured list. Following his recovery and reactivation on August 2nd, anticipation grew regarding his return to the major league club after a successful rehab stint. Recent developments, however, suggest a different course of events.
“[Ryan] had a great one [in his last outing.] He’s built up. I think for us it’s expecting him to do it again. … You know, right now, guys are throwing the baseball well. And Ryan hasn’t participated in quite some time. So, to see him getting consistency of outings and pitching well is good for him.”
(via Dave Roberts talking to SportsNetLA)
Pepiot’s most recent performance in AAA was nothing short of spectacular, capturing attention by maintaining a perfect game into the sixth inning. Such an exceptional display earned the 25-year-old pitcher the AAA Player of the Week Award, solidifying his status as a rising star in the minor leagues.
The question arises: Why hasn’t Pepiot been called up to the Dodgers yet? The answer is straightforward—other starting pitchers in the rotation have been delivering outstanding performances. Merely a couple of weeks ago, doubts loomed over Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias due to their subpar seasons. The addition of Lance Lynn at the trade deadline raised eyebrows as he carried a league-worst 6.47 ERA and had surrendered 28 home runs, the highest among all pitchers.
The tide turned dramatically after the trade deadline for these three pitchers, as the statistics illustrate:
- Julio Urias: 18 IP, 3 ER, 22 K, 1.50 ERA, 3-0 record
- Tony Gonsolin: 17 IP, 8 ER (6 in one game), 12 K, 4.24 ERA, 3-0 record
- Lance Lynn: 18 IP, 4 ER, 22 K, 2.00 ERA, 3-0 record
The initial uncertainty surrounding them has transformed into resounding success. Their collective brilliance has created a dilemma for the Dodgers—a lack of immediate opportunity for Pepiot to rejoin their ranks.
The question now shifts to when Pepiot might receive his call-up chance. The most plausible scenario points to post-September 1st, when the active roster expands to 28. This expansion would allow the Dodgers to accommodate an additional position player and a pitcher. Nevertheless, Pepiot’s AAA dominance opens another possibility—the Dodgers might have no choice but to acknowledge his stellar performances and grant him a swift return to the big leagues.
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