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Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Hoping to Break Camp With the Team in 2021

Gonsolin just wants to stay up with the big league squad the entire year, that’s his goal.



I don’t think most Dodgers fans agreed with how the team chose to use Tony Gonsolin during the 2020 season. The fact that he did not make the Opening Day roster in the shortened season was enough to raise the eyebrows of MLB experts and fans alike. 

Gonsolin would eventually get a shot in late-July but was then sent back to the Dodgers alternate location. He would spend much of August being optioned and recalled as the team used him to fill in starts until trading Ross Stripling. 

So when Tony told us this week that his goal for 2021 was to break out of Spring Training camp with the big league team, it wasn’t much of a surprise. Gonsolin was easily one of the Dodgers’ most effective pitchers in 2020, but that didn’t stop them from keeping him down until he was needed. For Tony, he just wants to stay up the whole year. 

Personal hopes would be to break camp with the stream straight from Spring Training whenever that happens. And then ideally, stay up with them the whole year. But at the end of the day just got to go out there and do what I do, throw strikes and challenge guys and just see what happens.

The decision by the Dodgers to move him in and out of the roster was more tactical than anything else. It was not performance-based, which could either make Tony feel better or worse about it depending on how he looks at it. 

If he is going to crack the Opening Day roster, he’s going to have to fight. Gonsolin might be facing even more competition with the Dodgers. starting rotation in 2021 with the possible return of David Price. Adding him into the mix, LA has at least 9 guys on their 40-man roster looking to get into the rotation. Realistically, 6 of those guys have a shot to make the cut. 

But if anyone can pull it off, it’s the guy who pitched to a 2.31 ERA and 2.29 FIP for the Dodgers in 2021. Go get em, Tony. 

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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. Well, he’s either #5 or #6 if the Dodgers don’t add any other starters. The real question – not addressed here – is how many options does he have left? If the Dodgers can option him down, they probably will at some point. That’s the game all the teams play with the 25 or whatever number there will be in 2021,

  2. It’s a numbers game. Who picks up the # 5 slot? May? Gonsolin? Or do they use Urias in the pen? Do they bring Gray or White up? Lots of options

    • Gray and White should be given short stints in 2021, with the big team as part of the normal development for young pitchers. That’s a must, since last year was a non-event for them, and they’re just a year older. Neither of them is ready for major service in 2021. 2022 should be the year when they get a real shot. May and Gonsolin had their stints in 2019, and proved themselves in 2020. They are the real deal. Gray and White might be. Only time will tell.

  3. Tactical? Not performance based? Hey, everything is performance based! This is still planet earth right. Tony G. should slot in the back of the rotation, or at least in the bullpen, all year long. If the Dodgers jerk him around again, he should call his agent and tell him to move him to a team that understands that performance is a good thing, and should be rewarded. Send Price down, or out completely, if you want to trim the rotation.

  4. I’m not trying to hate on Gonsolin, but part of his great ERA comes from pitching against Arizona, Texas, and Seattle – sorry teams in the NL and AL West. He did pitch well against the Padres, but he was average against Arizona and Colorado when facing them a 2nd time and he got worse as the season progressed.

    He was given two times to show his worth in the World Series and he blew it both times. He is not a big game pitcher

    Gonsolin should be part of a trade while his value is high. Package him with Ruiz and a few other minor league prospects and let Josiah Gray or Dustin May get that #5 spot (after Kershaw, Buehler, Price, and Urias)

    • Price will bail out since covid will still be here for a year or 2 so we don’t have to worry about him taking a spot

  5. You’re pretty hard on Tony Gonsolin, Bill. He was a rookie in a 60 game season. Sandy Koufax sucked his first 5 years. Just saying.

    • I’m not trying to be hard on Gonsolin, but do fans really consider Gonsolin untouchable? His spot can easily be taken up by Dustin May or Josiah Gray. Or he can be packaged with other prospects with a bonafide starter. The guy is 26 years old and will be 27 in May, 2021. This guy isn’t a youngster.

  6. I’m 65 so he’s a youngster. Maybe not in baseball terms but he’s only a couple of years past due. Look at Justin Turner. His career didn’t take off until he was 30. That being said, I’d trade Gonsolin, Gray, Beaty & Ruiz for Snell.

    • I like Gonsolin big and would hate to part with him but your proposal is about right. Baseballtradevalues.com’s trade simulator has the value equal without Gray but I don’t think the Rays would do it without him. Good post.

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