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Dodgers: MLB Expert Believes Victor Gonzalez is Poised for a Breakout Season in 2021

Ken Gurnick is sold on Victor being the guy in 2021.



One of the best parts of the Dodgers 2020 World Series win was how they got it done. It wasn’t just the big free agent signings or the massive trades that played a role in the final games leading up to a title, but also a whole lot of scouted international talent. 

Mookie Betts obviously played a major role and a few non-homegrown players had a part. But looking at guys like Julio Urias and Victor Gonzalez and how they performed, and you can’t help but be in awe of how the Dodgers run their organization. 

For a long time, Victor was just the other left-handed pitched that was signed when the Dodgers found Urias in Mexico. He spent the entire 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and was virtually forgotten about until this year. When he received his call-up back in July of this year, Victor made it count.  

The Dodgers used him sparingly throughout the year, throwing Gonzalez just 15 times in the regular season. In his  20.1 innings, Gonzalez pitched to a 1.33 ERA and a pristine 1.67  FIP while striking out  10+ per 9 innings. Perhaps more importantly, Gonzalez showcased his ability to produce soft contact and plenty of groundballs. That combination almost always results in an effective pitcher, especially out of relief. 

 As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes, Gonzalez is the one Dodgers player ready for a huge breakout year in 2021. Los Angeles used him sparingly during the regular season, but Gonzalez was used in 4 games during the World Series. In those 4 games, Victor was charged with 1 run but pitched out of some huge situations. 

If the Dodgers are able to lean on Victor in relief during the 2021 season, their bullpen could be incredible.

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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. From what I have seen, Gonzalez has the ability, aggressiveness, and mental toughness to be the next closer for the Dodgers.

    • Hopefully Hendricks or a proven closer of his caliber will be our next closer. After that, Graterol should own the spot for many years. Gonzalez draws light contact from hitters which is good. But we need a closer like Jansen was 5 or 6 years ago, who just blows people away without even allowing contact other than foul balls.

    • Gonzalez was solid in 2020. He has earned a middle releiver spot. He is not overpowering enough to be a closer. Graterol will grow into the closer role, and be unhittable with one reliable offspeed pitch to complement his heat. But we still need a proven shutdown closer for the present. Hendricks looks like the best choice. Hand or Hader would work too. If we don’t get that shutdown closer, and Treinen walks, we’re in trouble.

  2. Dodgers already have Victor to be the closer and yes he is better than hendricks cause he did it in post season without getting nervous specially the spots he came in,shutting the door.Urias will have the breakout year like he did in post season when he was Dodgers best pitcher closing out both Braves and Rays. He’s the only one who can come out of the bullpen to close out even with two days out a series. Buhler can’t do it cause he’s not effective unless he has his four days off. And Kershaw same.

  3. No need to spend on somebody you don’t need right now Dodgers need to extend Seager sign JT to a 3 year contract at least 45 million,sign Bellinger give Urias a good raise extend Kershaw he deserves to. Finish his career as a Dodger..
    Dodgers have the best talent for next 8 years nobody comes close best pitching rotation with 3 aces Urias,Kershaw and Buhler with May another ace if not this year next year for sure and Gonsolin a fifth ace for sure next year ,2 MVP winners with Seager becoming a third one soon then add Muncy’s 38+ hrs,100+ rbis Pollock if healthy another 30+ hrs,90+ rbis,Lux/Taylor Second base another 30+ hrs Rios if he plays regularly another 40 + hrs he’s just as powerful as Joc.So whoever thinks padres or any other team is close to Dodgers Forget it.Not even close.

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