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Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Proves Not All Pitchers Want a Universal Designated Hitter

Gonsolin wants to take some big swings in 2021.



Across the Dodgers Spring Training camp, there seems to be a reoccurring theme. Almost every pitcher has been asked if they want to get at-bats in and what they think about having to hit in 2021. The results are almost unanimous in that they would much rather have a DH. 

Unfortunately, that’s not in the plans for Major League Baseball in 2021. After a huge success utilizing the rule in a shortened season in 2020, Rob Manfred and the league pulled the plug on the change. Dodgers players and coaches have since voiced their displeasure in having to get back to their pitchers hitting. 

One guy who has not been unhappy with the change is Tony Gonsolin. Goose had 4 hits in his rookie season with the Dodgers, adding to his impressive college numbers. The guy can swing the bat and it seems like he wants to do it this year. I asked Tony about the universal DH and if he would prefer to hit for himself. 

I like getting the at-bats. You know, getting back into the swing of things and seeing pitches and seeing balls like in batting practice and all that. Just get a little more comfortable in the box. But you know, it was pretty fun today. It might not be as fun when I’m hitting off someone throwing 100, but until then just have fun with it. 

The good news is that he will probably get that chance in 2021. For the moment, there does not appear to be any movement on getting that rule changed ahead of Opening Day. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also talked this week about hoping MLB would reconsider before the season kicks off. 

Dodgers Related: Dave Roberts Hoping for the Universal DH

All that needs to happen for Gonsolin is for him to crack the Dodgers Opening Day roster. He would also probably need to make the starting rotation since the likelihood of him hitting in relief is relatively low. 

Personally, I look forward to seeing Gonsolin get his hacks in this year. 

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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. Gonsolin does have a “lifetime” batting average of .308, but really let’s be serious here. Do you really want the knuckles on that valuable right hand caught between an inside fastball and the bat? Plus watching pitchers hit is like returning to the “Hack a Shaq” era. Let’s just watch someone automatically “fail” over and over again because…..well because. Yeah, I get that it calls for a different strategy. But does it put a better product on the field? Nope.

  2. It can produce a better product on the field. Having a pitcher that can hit is a big advantage. and I love to see sac bunts. a lost art for sure

    • Yep. Small ball is beautiful thing. Betts has taken it to an art form. And the Dodgers always pride themselves on having versatile, multi-dimensional, multi-position players. I see no reason why pitchers can’t be multi dimensional too. And the argument that no DH will hurt the Dodgers more than other NL teams that also will not have the DH doesn’t hold water either. They’re all playing by the same rules, that have been around for over a century, and seem to have worked pretty well.

  3. Maybe if Gonsolin leads the team with a 350 batting average, DR will actually let him get some regular starts this season. And I totally disagree with the idea that somebody like Kershaw has totally forgotten how to stand in the batters box after many many years of doing it, without ever being hurt, just because he had one year away from it. Play ball. The way it’s been played for well over a century.

  4. Kudos to Tony.

    But c’mon let’s be real, watching a pitcher trying to hit is pathetic and probably the only boring part of the game except maybe a rain delay.

  5. What makes you describe using the universal DH last year as a “huge success?” Seems to me it led to a blander, dumbed-down version of baseball that was a lot less interesting to watch.

    • I agree horse. The DH ruins real baseball. I can’t stand to watch AL baseball, or even watch the Dodgers play with the DH. I agree also that MLB carrying 2 different sets of rules is beyond stupid. So CAN the DH already! Let’s get back to real baseball in both Leagues and enjoy watching good hitting pitchers hit.

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