The vaunted Dodgers rotation has been short a fifth starter since Dustin May went down in early May. Veteran David Price missed several weeks in late April and isn’t anywhere close to being stretched out. Assuming all goes well, the electric Tony Gonsolin will be back next week to make the rotation whole.
Gonsolin began the season on the injured list with a shoulder issue. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors this year. Now, one more rehab start is all that stands between him and the fifth Dodgers rotation spot.
Tony Smokes took home Baseball America’s 2020 ROY award. He finished fourth in MLB NL ROY voting. In his eight starts, Gonsolin recorded a 1.94 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. For the year, Gonsolin gave up just two home runs while pitching with the infamously juiced 2020 ball. But that’s not all!
In 13.2 IP in August, Gonsolin gave up just one earned run while striking out 16 batters.
Without a worthy replacement, Dave Roberts has employed bullpen games as a stop-gap solution. Although the Dodgers are 2-2 in the dreaded May bullpen games, they’ve had to use at least six arms each time.
Those games put more pressure on the regular starters to provide length each and every start. Most importantly, it taxes the relievers and creates a greater chance for a poor outing in a crucial situation.
Unless it’s Game 6 of the World Series, Doc isn’t exactly a bullpen guru.
Tony Gonsolin is (almost) here to fix that.
Many teams drudge up an over-seasoned veteran to fill out a rotation when unexpected injuries occur. Los Angeles won’t be adding Aaron Harang or Chris Capuano. They’ll be adding one of the best young arms in the game.
Gonsolin has already proven himself as a high-end starting pitcher. He’ll join three, or depending on who you ask, four, bonafide aces in the rotation.
Death to the bullpen game! Hopefully, once and for all.