MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The division round of the Major League Baseball playoffs got underway on Saturday. Eight teams remain in contention for the World Series, and that includes two former West Virginia University pitchers.
2018 second-round pick Michael Grove is part of the Los Angeles Dodgers postseason roster.
Grove battled through various injuries this season. It was not a given he would be part of LA’s 26-man roster for its NLDS series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, manager Dave Roberts elected to make the second-year righty out of WVU part of the Dodgers’ plans for the division round.
The Wheeling, West Virginia native went 2-3 on the mound this year, making 12 starts and 18 total appearances at the big-league level. Grove has only been used out of the bullpen since returning from injury on September 23. He pitched five innings in three appearances, only surrendered one hit, and struck out six in the final week of the regular season.
Grove and the second-seeded Dodgers begin NLDS play tonight at 9:20 p.m. ET on TBS.
Fellow WVU alumnus John Means will not be active during the Baltimore Orioles ALDS series against the Texas Rangers.
Means was left off Baltimore’s active roster for the division series. According to Orioles insider Roch Kubatko, Means is unavailable due to elbow soreness.
There is hope in the Charm City that Means will be healthy enough to pitch in the ALCS if the Orioles advance.
Means pitched in September for the first time since April of 2022, as he returned from Tommy John surgery. The former Mountaineer went 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA in four starts during the regular season. He earned his first win in just over two years when he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Cleveland Guardians on September 23.
If either Grove or Means appears in a postseason game this year, they would be the first former Mountaineer to do so since Alek Manoah last year. Manoah was the first WVU product to pitch in the MLB playoffs since Harrison Musgrave made two appearances with the Colorado Rockies in 2018. Infielder Jedd Gyorko’s lone postseason games of his eight-year career came in 2020.
A former Mountaineer has not been part of a postseason victory since David Carpenter in the 2013 NLDS with Atlanta. 1993 draftee Steve Kline earned a pair of saves for St. Louis in the 2001 NLDS.