The road to the big leagues was an interesting one for Tony Gonsolin. Once a two-way player in college, the Dodgers took him in the 2016 draft for his pitching prowess. That started the evolution that resulted in his incredible 2022 campaign.
Heading into Wednesday night’s contest, Gonsolin is 6-0 with a pristine 1.59 ERA. He has tallied 49 strikeouts in 51 innings and seems to have his control issues seem to have improved. For the moment, there is a very good chance that he makes his first All-Star team.
But it hasn’t always been easy for Gonsolin. His constantly changing role with the Dodgers is just the latest hurdle he has had to overcome. According to pitching coach Connor McGuiness. they’ve had to go with an odd method in the past to get him right. (quotes via the LA Times)
“When he was in a bad place, or a little out of whack, [I would] give him the bat. …I would make him swing on the mound. He loves hitting, and it helps sequence the body properly. Most people around the league don’t have the weapons that he does. And once he found that rhythm and tempo … he just took off.”
Gonsolin used to be a pretty good hitter, so it makes sense that getting a bat into his hands would loosen him up a little bit. He had 7 hits with the Dodgers before the universal DH came into play, including an RBI back in 2019.
Whatever they’ve done to get him on track, it’s working. Gonsolin has easily become one of the Dodgers’ most reliable starters and pitchers in general right now. So if he needs to swing a bat to get his mechanics and mentals locked in, so be it.
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