Dodgers To Promote Ryan Pepiot

Dodgers To Promote Ryan Pepiot

3:42 PM: Right-hander Ryan Pepiot, selected by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2019 amateur draft, will indeed make his major league debut tomorrow, reports Juan Toribio of (Twitter link). As noted below, the move had been widely speculated after Robbie Erlin — the most logical candidate on the active roster to start tomorrow afternoon’s game against the Pirates — worked in relief both Sunday and Monday.

It’ll be the first taste of the majors for Pepiot. After reaching Triple-A last year in his first full minor league season, the Butler product has cruised through 26 1/3 innings (over six starts) with a 2.05 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City. With no timetable set for Andrew Heaney’s return from the IL, it could be more than just a spot start for Pepiot should he find some success.

10:09 AM: The Dodgers have added right-handed pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot to their taxi squad, and manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including The Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett) that the move “just leaves the option” for the club to potentially start Pepiot for Wednesday’s game against the Pirates.  If Pepiot does start, it will mark the 24-year-old’s MLB debut.

By using Robbie Erlin in relief work both on Sunday and Monday, Roberts admitted that “certainly makes it more likely” that Pepiot will indeed get the ball for Wednesday’s game.  However, Roberts also cited Andre Jackson as a potential starting candidate, and said that “we’re not going to commit to” a starter for now, “but certainly getting [Pepiot] here in town puts us in a position where we can do that if we choose to.”

There could be some gamesmanship at play here, since it would seem a little unusual for the Dodgers to disrupt Pepiot’s Triple-A routine by bringing him to Pittsburgh and then leaving him on the taxi squad.  Or, the Dodgers might simply be weighing some roster considerations, as Pepiot would need to be added to the 40-man (whereas Jackson, who is also at Triple-A, is already on the 40-man roster).

Los Angeles has the need for an extra arm due to a doubleheader last Saturday against the Cubs, and then another doubleheader scheduled for May 17 against the Diamondbacks.  All told, the Dodgers are in the midst of a stretch of 14 games in 12 days, so whomever starts on Wednesday will also take the mound for one of those two May 17 games.

Pepiot was a third-round pick for the Dodgers in the 2019 draft, and looks to be the latest in a long line of quality arms developed out of the L.A. farm system.  ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranked Pepiot 59th on his preseason list of baseball’s best prospects, crediting the right-hander with “probably has the best changeup in the whole minor leagues, an at least 70-grade Bugs Bunny-type offering.”  Baseball America (ranking Pepiot 90th on their top 100 list) and MLB Pipeline (99th) have similar praise for Pepiot’s changeup, with BA’s scouting report even giving the pitch a perfect 80 on the 20-80 grading scale.

Pepiot’s 94-97 mph fastball is another premium offering, earning 70-grades from BA and Pipeline.  However, his fastball control isn’t great and his slider and curveball are pretty average, leading to questions about whether or not Pepiot’s ultimate future might be in relief pitching.  Over 151 total innings in the minors, Pepiot has a 3.75 ERA, 30.22% strikeout rate, and 11.21% walk rate — this include a 2.05 ERA over six starts and 26 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.

Published at Tue, 10 May 2022 20:42:47 +0000

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