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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Responds to Tony Gonsolin’s Debut & Pederson at First

Dave was fine with the 25 year-old’s debut, and looks at bad luck as a key contributor to a rough outing.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 26: Tony Gonsolin #46 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a first inning pitch against of the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 26, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. It is Gonsolin's MLB debut. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

After Tony Gonsolin’s major league debut didn’t go 100% according to plan (4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER; 1-2 at the plate), Dodgers manager Dave Roberts touched on a few points from the game.

When asked whether Gonsolin’s rough debut outing was more attributed to nerves or bad luck, he had this to say.

I think more bad luck. Even talking to him, there’s just the natural nerves as you take the field, and leading up to it. But once he got out there, I think at times the execution could have been a little bit better, but I just don’t think we played well behind him.

Gonsolin added on his debut.

I felt the nerves were pretty good, I felt like they kind of got out of the way when I was playing catch, and in the bullpen. The 1-2 bunt… a little bit by surprise, but I gotta make sure I cover first base – gotta beat the runner to the bag. And I just didn’t execute that pitch on Escobar.

I wouldn’t say the game sped up on me, I thought I held my composure pretty well. I think it just comes down to executing pitches and making the right pitch.

Defensive Miscues

On the questionable defense behind the rookie, and focusing on the Joc Pederson experiment at first base, Roberts was asked whether it would be better to have the strongest defense behind someone making their big league debut.

There’s certainly a balance, I just felt that we’re committing to [Pederson at first base], and it’s not an every day thing. But just to get him an opportunity, he’s fine catching the baseball, he’s taken grounders for the last few years — but obviously in the game, things speed up — that’s part of it. But for me, it’s not just first base, it’s all around.

Roberts went on to point out key plays that were not executed well, and added that “we just didn’t play well.”

Moreover, Pederson at first base continues to look like an interesting experiment at best, and probably something better suited for a test run during spring training, not a pennant race. Roberts, to the best of his ability, deflected and passed blame around, choosing not to highlight one player as the sole reason the team lost 8-2. Because Pederson wasn’t the reason they lost… but it’s tough to say he helped.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

9 Comments

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  1. Plain and simple: Dave, end the Joc Pederson experiment playing 1st, until ST!!! Stop throwing away games, like they don’t count!!! I understand what they’re trying to do, but this is not the time to experiment! Joc is a super athlete but this just isn’t the time of year to learn a new position!!! I cringe everytime he’s involved in a play!!! We need to keep our foot on the peddle!!! Let’s go Dodgers!!!

  2. The only positive I can take out of that game yesterday? It was Russell Martin. We should put him in the bullpen, he’s better than 70% of the guys we use out there everyday! (Grin!)

  3. All I can say is that Roberts didn’t do well in chemistry because his experiment with Peterson at first is failing fast, 3 crucial errors in what 4 games. Put him back in the outfield. Play Muncie he’s qualified.

  4. Not Joc’s fault……..These comments about Joc………..this is not really about Joc………..he did not doing anything so bad in the outfield to get moved to first base………..this move is about Pollock and Verdugo………and YES, playing Peterson at first is ugly and weakens our defensive alignment. But if you don’t have the patience or stomach for watching it unfold, then tell “Dave” and Friedman you want them to dump Pollock in a trade……..he is the square peg here……….PLEASE?

    • Bluz1st, Pollock signed a 4 year $ 55 million deal and would not be easy to move at all under the current circumstances. And when he returns Dodgers are not going to sit him on the pine while earning that $$. Correct about Joc playing 1st because it’s with the return of Pollock in mind while keeping Verdugo in the lineup.. But let’s not forget there is the July 31 st trade deadline so WSS

      • Hi Paul!………The Dodgers have not been afraid to move players onto the dead salary list for any reason……….Pollock is no exception, but that’s me………some other team would take him off the Dodgers hands if they are willing to eat some of that contract. Pederson in left, Verdugo in center was working. Bringing Pollock back and making him the starting center fielder at this point is uneeded and could even be a team chemistry virus if he does not play well. Pederson at first base is a disaster so far, but that could improve with time. I’d rather see Freese and Muncy return to their roles at first when everyone is healthy. Put Pederson back in left where he belongs…….we don’t need this defensive merry go round to stretch this far………and you have to wonder how having to play first is going to effect Pederson’s offensive production. Some players just do not do well playing out of position.

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