3621 W MacArthur Blvd Suite 107 Santa Ana, CA 92704
Toll Free – (844)-500-1351 Local – (714)-604-1416 Fax – (714)-907-1115

Dodgers’ Gavin Stone learned from last year’s failures

Rent Computer Hardware You Need, When You Need It

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Major league hitters were not kind to Gavin Stone during his rookie season.

They battered him for a 9.00 ERA in his eight-game MLB baptism last year, hitting .338 with eight home runs and 61 baserunners in the first 31 innings of his major league career.

In a way, though, they did him a favor. The lack of success gave Stone no illusions about how much work he had to do.

“Failure sucks. So you do everything you can not to feel that feeling again,” Stone said. “That’s what this offseason was about, to not feel that again.”

The process really began for Stone in the second half of last season. He went back to Triple-A and added two pitches to his mix – a cutter and a two-seam fastball. The additions allowed him to get to different areas of the strike zone than he was with his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup.

“I think that really helps get people off my other stuff,” Stone said.

“Last year at the end of the year especially in Triple-A, those really helped a lot. Being able to hone in on those, get command of those this year will be huge.”

A couple of other problems from his rookie season should be in Stone’s rear-view mirror. He was hampered by a blister on his right foot over the first half of the season, he said. The blister affected his command.

And Stone was guilty of tipping his pitches, allowing hitters to lay off his most effective pitch, his changeup.

“People could see when I wasn’t throwing the changeup, because my arm will just move to get to other pitches,” Stone said.

Correcting such subtleties took “a long time,” he said.

“Just because unconsciously, you change grips in your hand and the slightest little movement they can see,” he said. “So to be consistent with every pitch, and have the same look, it’s pretty hard. But it’s something you gotta do.”

The Dodgers called on Stone sooner than planned a year ago because of injuries in their starting rotation. This year, one of their young starters is likely to open the season in the rotation, taking Walker Buehler’s spot until his anticipated return from Tommy John surgery sometime in May.

Stone and Emmet Sheehan are in the competition for those starts along with Michael Grove and swingman Ryan Yarbrough.

“I think certainly performance. Where they’re at physically. Opponent is going to play a little bit of a part of it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the factors that will go into that decision. “Right now, as we look out, that decision won’t have to happen until April. So I think right now, there’s a big bucket of pitchers that are just going to continue to build up. And like I said the other day, they’re just going to keep building up to three, four, five innings and we’ll see where we’re at, and hopefully we have some tough decisions.

“I think that right now, where we’re at with starting pitching, we’re kind of allowing for a lot of latitude because things always happen. Guys get sore. And you got to kind of move things around. So there’s a good three or four guys … who could fill that void. So we’re just going to kind of keep building them up and having those conversations constantly.”


Shohei Ohtani took live batting practice again on Friday, his third session facing pitchers this spring. But he took just one at-bat against left-hander James Paxton, all of five pitches only one of which he swung at (and fouled off).

Nonetheless, Ohtani continues to progress in his recovery from elbow surgery last September and Roberts said he anticipates Ohtani playing in a Cactus League game “sometime next week.” When exactly that is will be a group decision, Roberts said.

“There’s a group, as far as our coaching staff, the hitting guys, the training staff, the performance staff,” Roberts said. “Everyone is talking to figure out what’s the best day for him to start playing. And to build out his schedule.”

Related Articles

Los Angeles Dodgers |

Freddie Freeman homers as Dodgers hand Padres another Cactus League loss

Los Angeles Dodgers |

With Mookie Betts in the infield, Dodgers outfield has ‘a lot of good moving pieces’

Los Angeles Dodgers |

Dodgers pound Padres with two big innings in Cactus League opener

Los Angeles Dodgers |

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani ‘feeling good’ as rehab progresses

Los Angeles Dodgers |

Dave Roberts confirms Dodgers plan to start Yamamoto, Glasnow in Korea series

The trio of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Ohtani will be in the lineup together at some point in the middle of next week, Roberts said.

Ohtani has taken six at-bats in three live BP sessions now. He has said those at-bats count toward the 50 at-bats he wants to get in order to prepare for the season.


Freeman played in his first game of the spring on Friday and homered on the first pitch he saw. Freeman shrugged off the challenge of getting ready sooner this year with the Dodgers opening the season March 20-21 in South Korea.

“I just treat it like the WBC the last two times I’ve done that,” Freeman said. “I just started hitting earlier in the offseason than I normally do. That’s about it. I’m trying to treat live BPs like extra ABs. I feel pretty good right now.”

Generated by Feedzy