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Dodgers: Opening Day Roster Chances Just Improved For Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin

There is a good chance we see both guys crack the roster.



The Dodgers are going to go with a 5-man rotation to start the season. That was confirmed today by Dave Roberts ahead of their Cactus League game against the Brewers.

With so many starters predicted to make the Opening Day roster, there was a possibility the Dodgers would go to a 6-man rotation. That could take some of the pressure off of guys early on as they build up for a full 162-game season. 

Instead, they will go with the traditional 5-man and run their guys out on schedule. That could mean a lot of different things, but it feels like the Dodgers have just 1 open spot in the rotation. Jimmy Nelson, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin are all up for that final spot. 

Given that they view them all as starting pitchers, there were questions as to where all 3 could start the season if not in the rotation. May and Gonsolin both have option years remaining and could start the year at the alternate location building up pitch counts. 

Dodgers Related: Another Big Round of Spring Training Cuts

Roberts was asked how likely it would be for Gonsolin and May to both make the Opening Day roster. He confirmed that there was a “good chance” they were both included. It’s one of those things that’s a surprise for the Dodgers but also not at the same time. 

They have a few guys in relief that may not get the chance to start the year due to not being ready. Joe Kelly and Brusdar Graterol are the big two that appear to be in serious doubt for Opening Day. With those guys out, May and Gonsolin could find themselves with a prominent bullpen role should they miss out on the rotation.

Dodgers: Brusdar Graterol Unlikely to Crack Opening Day Roster

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’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Buehler
    Kershaw
    Bauer
    Urias
    May
    Gonsolin

    With either a straight 6 man rotation or a modified 5 man rotation with May and Gonsolin alternating in the 5 spot, an in the bullpen when not making a start.

    Put Price and Nelson in the bullpen as long releivers. If either of them blows people away, they could swap into the starting rotation. But they both have something to prove as reliable long releivers first.

  2. Lots of time to sort out the pitching situation. Having proper depth in starting rotation allows for down time or additional rest for older starters and leaves a few openings for the “bullpen” game should they be needed. Like the NBA, some games will be affected by external issues so I see some bumps in the schedule that will require pitching flexibility. Having May and Gonsolin in the BP isn’t a bad deal either since both can learn from pressure situations and keep pounding the strike zone when needed. Both had trouble with nibbling around the zone. Long relief is an option for both.

  3. I could see Nelson being the 5th starter with May and Gonsolin being in the pen. Or, why not have May/Gonsolin be the 5th starter with each pitching +/- 1/2 of the game and Nelson in the pen for long relief of the other 4 starters.

  4. I could see Nelson as the 5th starter with May and Gonsolin in the pen. Or May/Gonsolin as the 5th starter with each scheduled to pitch +/- 1/2 game and Nelson in the pen for long relief along with Price.

  5. No one in MLB manages their pitchers like the Dodgers do. There will be plenty of opportunities for these starters and pen guys to perform, and those with options to the minors will build up lots of frequent flyer miles out of the show. The cream will rise to the top and carry this Dodger team to another World Series!

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