What to expect from reported Dodgers call-up Justin Wrobleski in his MLB debut

The Dodgers are expected to promote top pitching prospect Justin Wrobleski to the Major Leagues to make a spot start on Sunday according to multiple reports, the first of which was published by Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.


Wrobleski has been one of the best pitchers in the system this year, posting a 3.23 ERA across 15 starts in Double-A and Triple-A. The 23-year-old has a 2.01 ERA across his last eight starts going back to May 18.

Heading into the season, Wrobleski was the No. 12 prospect in the organization on the Dodgers Digest preseason prospects list, and he has since risen up the ranks even further. Although he was the opening night starter for Tulsa this season, that game was also his Double-A debut. The 78 innings he has pitched this year serve as Wrobleski’s only experience in the upper minor leagues.

With the success he has had, it has felt increasingly likely that Wrobleski would get a chance to debut in 2024. He was set to become Rule 5 Draft eligible in the offseason, meaning he would have to be added to the 40-man roster by then either way.

Wrobleski was promoted to Triple-A only two weeks ago, striking out 17 batters across his first two starts at the level. On top of flashing strikeout stuff, Wrobleski has shown quality command throughout the year, walking just 5.1% of the batters he has faced. His makeup and overall command of a deep arsenal of pitches may be why the Dodgers feel comfortable making this aggressive promotion.


Dodgers starting pitching has struggled of late, with a combination of injuries and short starts taxing the entire pitching staff. Bobby Miller could have lined up to start Sunday, but Los Angeles will instead opt to give him extra rest, something that is especially important after Miller missed time with a shoulder injury earlier this season.

Wrobleski enters the fold with a chance to prove he can be relied upon to cover innings not just Sunday, but also for the rest of the season moving forward. However, his career high in innings was set at 102 1/3 frames last year, a figure that he is already closing in on. He’s well on the way to setting a new career high this season, but it remains to be seen how he handles the increased workload.

One of Wrobleski’s best attributes is his deep pitch mix, which consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, a two-seam fastball, a changeup and a cutter. His fastballs sit in the 94-96 mph range and can hit 98 or 99 occasionally. Wrobleski’s pitch profile is made interesting by a certain unique aspect: he has below average extension, meaning he releases the ball further away from home plate than average. He has also gained velocity on his fastball and increased his extension a bit from where it was last year, going from five inches to 5.3 inches.

Both his slider and his cutter are a variation of each other, with the tighter version of the pitch sitting in the upper 80s and the slower version in the lower 80s. Wrobleski is able to throw his slider in all counts, but saves his changeup mostly for two-strike counts against right-handed batters.

In an age where many pitching prospects have big stuff that they are learning how to pitch with, Wrobleski already possesses an excellent feel for navigating starts and staying in the strike zone.

Wrobleski fell to the 11th round when he was originally selected back in 2021 because he had Tommy John surgery before the draft. Three years later, he is set to make his MLB debut and has become a top prospect in the system.


The indication from Ardaya’s report is that this will only be a spot start for Wrobleski before he heads back down to Triple-A. The Dodgers already have a full five-man rotation on the roster, so it makes sense that there would not be room for Wrobleski to stay permanently.

Still, his addition to the 40-man roster will leave the door open for another call up at any time down the stretch, whether that is for another spot start or an extended stay. Wrobleski — and another top prospect in River Ryan — are both likely to see innings in Los Angeles as the summer goes on.

The Dodgers will have to make a corresponding move prior to Sunday’s game to make room on both the 26-man and 40-man rosters.

About Bruce Kuntz

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I'm a Long Beach State journalism student and I've been writing about the Dodgers and their farm system since I was in high school.