In the ongoing Dodgers season, the team has found itself leaning heavily on its young pitchers to secure victories. This unexpected reliance on youth was not the original game plan, but it has become the reality for the Dodgers as the season progresses.
Gavin Stone, one of these young pitchers, is set to receive more opportunities as the season nears its conclusion. Stone’s journey has seen him shuttle back and forth between the big leagues and the minors, but he has now become a significant part of the LA rotation. Additionally, he is prepared to step in from the bullpen when the need arises.
Stone recently took the mound against the San Diego Padres on a Monday game, displaying promise in the initial innings. However, as the game unfolded, his performance took a downturn, ultimately resulting in him conceding seven runs over 5.1 innings pitched.
Reflecting on his rocky performance, Stone expressed confidence in his ability to make necessary improvements moving forward. Although LA has held high hopes for Stone due to his impressive pitching abilities, his success at the big-league level has been inconsistent thus far.
“I think I was leaving the ball up a little bit with the changeup and the cutter,” said Stone. “Just leaving it up. I think if I just get the ball down then … a lot less runs.”
In the current season, Stone has appeared in six games, posting an ERA of 10.80. Rapid adjustments are imperative for him to avoid a return to the minor leagues. His struggles serve as a stark reminder of the challenges that have plagued the Dodgers throughout the season, including injuries and pitching inconsistencies. As the playoffs draw near, the team understands that a change is necessary.
“In some cases, I probably could have done a better job of pounding the strike zone early and hopefully seeing more swing and misses early,” Stone said about the Padres swinging early in the count. “We talked about it, but back to getting the ball down, I feel like that would have helped with them swinging a lot.”
The Dodgers intend to continue relying on their young pitching talent as the season progresses for various reasons. However, the fate of the Dodgers’ season hinges largely on the effectiveness of these emerging pitchers. The pressure is on as the team seeks to secure success in the upcoming playoff rounds.