With the assortment of injuries the Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered this season, the team has very much embodied an “all hands on deck” mentality as several Minor Leaguers have been relied upon to fill holes left by injured players.
The latest to step up when called upon is right-handed reliever Josh Ravin. The 27 year old made his Major-League debut Tuesday after nine seasons in the Minors. He threw just five pitches to strikeout Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu in the eighth inning and when Alex Guerrero hit a two-out grand slam in the ninth inning that gave the Dodgers a lead, Ravin not only picked up his first strike out, but also earned his first Major-League win.
Due to injuries the Dodgers have called up a flurry of relievers this season. Ravin was not called up earlier because he has struggled with control issues in the past. When that moment finally came, the right-hander couldn’t put the surreal experience into words.
Ravin hasn’t been bad in Triple-A this season, striking out 30 and walking only eight in 20 innings. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believes Ravin could be a late bloomer because he is still figuring out his body:
They say he’s been a work in progress as far as throwing strikes,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s a big guy (6-foot-4, 230 pounds). He could be one of those guys who just takes longer to figure out their body, figure out their mechanics. I just think everybody’s different. Some guys jump right in there. Other guys take longer to figure it out. Maybe he’s just a little bit of a late bloomer for some reason. We’ll see.”
Ravin also pitched in Wednesday’s game in Colorado, throwing two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one. With Pedro Baez, one of the Dodgers’ hardest throwing relievers, still on the disabled list, Ravin could fill that role for the time being.
The Chatsworth High School product appeared in eight Spring Training games with the Dodgers this year. He had 12 strikeouts, four walks, a 2.57 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in seven innings pitched.