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Dodgers: Could 2021 Be a Lost Season for Tony Gonsolin?

Tony Smokes had a strong 2020, but injuries and control problems have marred his 2021 so far.



Tony Gonsolin is back on the IL. The Dodgers’ starter missed the first two months of the season with a shoulder issue and unfortunately – the issue returned. Gonsolin is shut down for now, according to Dave Roberts and, really, it’s beginning to feel like a lost season for hard throwing right-hander.

Gonsolin’s stop-and-start 2021 comes on the heels of a fantastic 2020 campaign. The righty ranked fourth in starter ERA (1.94) in 2020 amongst pitchers with at least 40 IP. He gave up just one home run in 41.2 IP.

Analysts and pundits alike were raving about Gonsolin, and rightfully so. Gonsolin has an electric fastball, plus slider, and a devastating splitter. In this writer’s opinion, he has all of the potential to become an All-Star caliber starter.

During spring training (remember when all the Dodgers starters were healthy?) Gonsolin penciled into the swingman role prototyped by Ross Stripling. The plan was to provide enough starts to keep the regular starters fresh, and most importantly, healthy.

As is the theme with this Dodgers season, things did not go according to plan.

Gonsolin has made just nine starts this season in a year when they need him the most. Dustin May has been out since the month of May. Kershaw has been out since early July. Trevor Bauer remains on administrative leave amidst sexual assault allegations.

This is the season for Gonsolin to prove himself as a full time starter for the Dodgers. His 2.78 ERA this year is great at first blush. However, his 4.45 FIP and .256 BABIP show that he’s been awfully lucky on balls hit into play. The control also hasn’t been there. Gonsolin owns a 6.6 walks per nine innings – his career high.

There is still time for the promising righty, but that time, is running out quickly.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Talks About the Struggles of Victor González

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. here’s hoping t-gon is back for the fall. If not that’s a blow to the Dodgers, but they do have Knebel and Duffy arriving any day now. last but not least got to get Kersh back!

  2. The answer is Yes! A lost season for Gonsolin and too many other Dodger players to list here.
    At the very least, let’s hope the Dodgers can stay somewhat healthy the remainder of the season (at least regarding the players who are healthy right now) and find a way to go on some “magical run”.
    I just tortured myself by watching the 9th inning of the game today between the Giants and Diamondbacks with AZ leading 4-0 and watched S.F. rally to win the game, putting them 29 games above .500. It’s the first time since 1993 that the Giants trailed by 4 runs in the 9th inning of a game and won. They lead the Division by 4 games, now.
    The Dodgers are going to have to play at least .600+ Baseball the next 2 months to win the N.L. West this year. It’s doable, but without Kershaw and Gonsolin and with the shaky BP, it feels like a mountain to climb.

    • Giants did something we haven’t been able to do all year, they are playing way better than us and have all year. Sadly there is not a chance of us playing .600+ ball with the manager we have.

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