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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Sees One Big Problem With Victor Gonzalez

Probably the biggest change from 2020.



The Dodgers adding Victor Gonzalez to their bullpen last year was one of the more sneaky good moves. Victor came out of nowhere to allow just 3 earned runs through 15 appearances out of the pen for LA in 2020. He would go on to get some pretty big outs in the playoff run, including 4 appearances in the World Series. 

Gonzalez didn’t strike out a ton of guys, but he kept the ball in the zone and induced a LOT of ground balls. That’s part of what made him so successful for the Dodgers last year. Unfortunately, some of that has changed this season. 

Victor has already issued 15 walks for the Dodgers in 2021. That’s at a rate of almost 5 per 9 innings pitched. His command has not been nearly as good as it was a year ago, and that’s what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thinks is holding him back. 

I think the command has not been consistent with the fastball. The command isn’t what it has been certainly last year. And I think that’s what it is. I thought today his slider was really good. but with 2 strikes to Alfaro, he just didn’t get it to the dirt. 

Roberts talked about Victor’s command after he gave up the go-ahead homerun on Monday night. It was just the second homer allowed by Gonzalez this season and the second of his entire big league career. Despite the early results, Victor has also been a workhorse for the Dodgers. 

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He has already appeared in 36 games and pitched 28 innings for the Dodgers this year. Those 36 appearances are by far the most out of anyone aside from Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen. To say that he’s been working hard would be an understatement. 

That may or may not play into the lack of command in the season. But it’s certainly a problem worth examining. Gonzalez still has an average exit velocity that sits in the top 1 percent of the league, so he can be VERY effective. 

It’s just a matter of consistent execution at this point. 

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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. The error by Lux, a easy ground out also contribute to a loss. Every time Gonzalez pitched I cringed.
    His only pitch was a Fastball down the middle and a slow breaking ball. Teams have done their homework so the players know how to hit him. Fastball. Not only did the Dodgers play crappy and beat themselves. After a triple by Cody no outs The bases were loaded no outs and not one run came in. I was shocked by this and my dog went running as I was really pissed off. But then the end of the game 9th was really embarrassing, my dog left me. Come on, what is with the throwing errors. Game after game there is throwing errors, Perhaps longer infield practice would or doc pay for stupid errors. World Champions can’t do this and expect another

  2. He has had that problem from the beginning of spring training — seems like Mark Prior and Driveline baseball should have fixed the problem by now

    • Biggest problem with the team is not recognizing the lack of value that Bellinger represents to the lineup.Since the first half of his MVP season, he has been less than an ordinary player at the plate and batting him fourth is a waste of a productive spot. His value in the field of course is almost unmatched, but he is barely major league average at the plate and batting him cleanup doesn’t cut it.

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