Erlin, 31, spent 2021 with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. He inked a minor league deal with the Dodgers in February, and returned to a 40-man roster when his contract was selected Saturday, allowing him to serve as the 27th man in a doubleheader against the Cubs. In his first big league action in nearly 20 months, Erlin posted a scoreless mop-up inning Sunday and then gave up a pair of runs to put a game in Pittsburgh further out of reach on Monday.
Considered one of the 35 best prospects in the game when the Rangers sent him to San Diego in the Mike Adams deal at the 2011 trade deadline, Erlin underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2016. The Padres bounced him from their 40-man in October 2019, and then he moved to the Pirates and Braves before heading overseas.
In that classic MLB circle of life, Erlin has surrendered his Dodgers 40-man roster spot to Pepiot, who ranked 90th on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list. Pepiot, a 24-year-old righty, is a 55-grade prospect with what BA describes as a “devastating” changeup but “below average control.” Pepiot hasn’t yet solved the control issue in his 68 Triple-A innings, but the Dodgers needed a starter for this afternoon’s game in Pittsburgh.