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Dodgers Considering Tony Gonsolin for a Bullpen Role This Weekend

The Dodgers could be gearing up Tony Gonsolin for a playoff bullpen role.



A warning to Dodgers fans: you’re probably not going to enjoy this. Julio Urias was scratched from his start on Wednesday to prepare him for a role coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs. In his place, Joe Kelly will get the start as an opener.

Unfortunately, that’s not the part Dodgers fans will be upset with. In a press conference on Wednesday, Dave Roberts revealed that Tony Gonsolin’s next appearance might come under similar circumstances. From what it sounds like, he might also be an option for a relief role in October. 

There’s a thought of potentially having each one of those guys pitch out of the pen in their last turn. Just so we can continue keeping our options open while preparing those guys…That’s a conversation, we haven’t made that decision yet. I know Tony’s done it once this year. I think in Arizona. Whether we decide to have him start on Saturday remains to be seen, but it’s a conversation.

Fans have expressed their desire to keep Tony in the rotation since his first appearance in 2020. The Dodgers even went so far as trading Ross Stripling to clear up space for him. In his starts, Gonsolin has been lights out. His 2.05 FIP and 1.26 ERA are both the best on the team for starting pitchers. Gonsolin has also racked up a 1.5 WAR, good for second-best among all pitchers on the staff. 

His lone relief appearance came more out of necessity than anything. Dustin May was struck on the foot by a line drive and Gonsolin came in to pitch 5 innings. He allowed 3 earned runs in that appearance and was ultimately stuck with the loss. With that in mind, it seems strange that the Dodgers would consider him an option for the bullpen. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I want Gonsolin to replace Jansen as the closer in the postseason. Don’t just put in the bullpen as an afterthought. Put him in the role of closer where he will be critical for saving games, rather than letting them slip away. Gonsolin is an impact player. Give him an impact job so we can win a world championship.

  2. It seems strange the Dodgers would consider this? No. It’s preposterous. Gonsolin’s been really effective as a starter so let’s start tinkering. Save it for spring training next year and concentrate on heating up for the playoffs. The only positive thing about jerking Urias around tonight was that Kelly imploded early rather than coughing up the lead late.

    • I agree. And it just shows that it doesn’t make any difference which inning runs are scored, only whoever has the most runs at the end of the game is the winner. So other than matching up a lefty/ righty opener what’s the purpose?
      I hope Friedman and co. don’t get too cute and mess this thing up!

  3. That is BS. If I was Gonsolin I would just go home due to covid. Obviously the Dodgers don’t need him. I am not a very happy fan at all. Anyone with any baseball sense would see this.

    • So what did we learn today?

      Kelley is still not a go to guy, and should not close any games in the postseason.

      Treinen didn’t look good either.

      Urias looked very good as a long releiver which is exactly what he should do in the postseason. He has also done this well in past years.

      As long as Buehler pitches well in his final regular season start, he and Kershaw will be the 1 and 2 guys in the postseason. The 3 guy is probably May, although it could be Gonsolin. In the postseason the top three pitchers usually eat up all the starts. The Dodgers could go with a 4 man rotation and maybe they should, given how well May and Gonsolin have done, but it is unconventional, and obviously impossible to have all 4 pitch in a best of 3 series. Given how suspect Jansen is as a closer, and Treinen’s underwhelming performance today, May and Gonsolin should both be considered for the closer job. Possibly they could share the 3 spot in the rotation in alternating starts, while the other closes. One thing is certain. We need a shutdown closer in the postseason, and it’s not Jansen.

  4. May, Gonsolin, and Urias rarely make it past the 5th or 6th inning. LA should consider having 2 of them share a game; one starts and the other takes over for the last 3 or 4 innings. If the starter goes longer, LA can always revert back to their regular relievers. If the starter does not make it past the 3rd or 4th inning, a second starter taking over saves the relief staff for another game.

    • May and Gonsolin are always ready to go 7 or 8 innings. Roberts just pulls them early no matter how well they are pitching.

  5. I should add that Buehler is also a big uncertainty. If his blister acts up, or he is otherwise ineffective, one of the other starters can take over. The relief staff needs to be well-rested for the World Series, assuming we get that far.

  6. GONSOLIN IS THE #3 GUY ,,IS BETTER THAN BUSHEMAY ANY DAY. URIAS STARTS A LITTLE SLOW BUT,BETTER THAN R.B. START, GIVING UP 3 RUNS. WHY DID R. NOT TAKE KELLY OUT. LOST ANOTHER GAME DUE NOT KNOWING HOW TO MANAGE PITCHERS. DUMB TO USE KELLY @ ALL,BEEN OUT TO LONG,SOOOO DUMB.D.R.& A.F. WILL SCREW THIS UP AS ALWAYS.STARTING PEN PITCHERS IN NEED TO WIN IS NUTS.LET PLAYERS SETTLE IN TO PLAY THIER BEST WHEN IT COUNTS

  7. About every post above here is a great example of how Roberts will indeed sabotage the team come plauoff time and I am not sure anyone here would be thus all that surprised if because of Robert the Dodgers will fall short in that first round best of 3 series.

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