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Poteet, Kaprielian to Make First MLB Starts on Wednesday

May 12, 2021
Cody Poteet (L) and James Kaprielian (R) will both start an MLB game for the first time on May 12, 2021

Former UCLA rotation-mates James Kaprielian and Cody Poteet have both been recalled by their respective clubs and will make their debut MLB starts on Wednesday night.

Kaprielian will take the ball for the Oakland Athletics against the Boston Red Sox, with first pitch from Fenway Park set for 4:10 p.m. PT. Poteet meanwhile draws the start for the Miami Marlins at Arizona, with first pitch at 6:40 p.m.

Paired with Gerrit Cole's scheduled start for the Yankees, the Bruins will have three alums starting on the mound for Major League teams on Wednesday. This is the second time ever that UCLA has had three MLB starting pitchers on the same day, following Apr. 30, 2019 (Cole, Trevor Bauer, and Griffin Canning). 

This marks the first promotion to the Major Leagues in Poteet's career. Upon his debut, Poteet will become the 85th Bruin all-time to reach MLB, and the 22nd coached by current UCLA head coach John Savage. In addition, at least one player from every UCLA team from 1965-2017 has competed in MLB, a span of 52 consecutive years.

Wednesday will mark the first-ever MLB start for Kaprielian, who made his big league debut in 2020 with a pair of relief appearances.

Poteet was 14-12 over a three-year career at UCLA (2013-15), crafting a 3.92 ERA and striking out 173 batters in 222 2/3 innings. He took a step up as a junior in 2015, going 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 appearances (13 starts). The Bonita, Calif. native was ultimately selected in the fourth round, No. 116 overall, of the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Miami.

In his sixth professional season, Poteet has posted a 3.84 career in the minors over 95 starts. He started off the 2021 season in style, striking out 10 over 5 2/3 innings in his first start of the year for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

A three-year star on the mound with the Bruins, Kaprielian's 2.06 career ERA still ranks sixth all-time in program history. He had a superlative debut season out of the bullpen, putting together a 1.55 ERA and .141 batting average against en route to Freshman All-America honors.

He made the move to the weekend rotation in his final two seasons, proving himself one of the elite arms in college baseball. Kaprielian led the Pac-12 in strikeouts in both 2014 and 2015, and was named first team all-conference in both of those campaigns. His All-American junior season (10-4, 2.03 ERA, 114 strikeouts, 106 2/3 innings) helped the Bruins earn the No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. He was the first-round pick of the Yankees, No. 16 overall, in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Stay up-to-date on all things UCLA Baseball by following the team on Twitter at @UCLABaseball.

John Savage-Coached Bruins to Reach Majors (debut team)
Hector Ambriz (Cleveland Indians)
Trevor Bauer (Arizona Diamonbacks)
Charles Brewer (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Trevor Brown (San Francisco Giants)
Tyson Brummett (Philadelphia Phillies)
Griffin Canning (Los Angeles Angels)
Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Brandon Crawford (San Francisco Giants)
Jermaine Curtis (St. Louis Cardinals)
Cody Decker (San Diego Padres)
Erik Goeddel (New York Mets)
Matt Grace (Washington Nationals)
Tyler Heineman (Miami Marlins)
David Huff (Cleveland Indians)
James Kaprielian (Oakland Athletics)
Kevin Kramer (Pittsburgh Pirate)
Adam Plutko (Cleveland Indians)
Cody Poteet (Oakland Athletics)
Rob Rasmussen (Toronto Blue Jays)
Josh Roenicke (Cincinnati Reds)
Pat Valaika (Colorado Rockies)
Zack Weiss (Cincinnati Reds)