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Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Set to Rescue Dave Roberts

Gonsolin has one more rehab start this week before he returns to the Dodgers rotation. Say good-bye to bullpen games!



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.

Dodgers Set New LA Record for Runs Scored in a Single Inning

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. Eric, it’s true that Roberts needs to be protected from himself. As far as many are concerned these BP games WERE NOT SMART OR NECESSARY if indeed Dodgers are so ‘deep’. Not only that but these BP games caused Roberts to play with a short bench, having 14 pitchers and only 12 position players. We have already seen how Roberts was thus forced to bat a pitcher in later inning possible scoring situations and the results were obvious to everyone but him.

    • Pauldodgersfan1965,
      I’m positive Dave Roberts is better at his job than you’ve ever been at yours.

  2. What choice did Roberts have in rolling out these bullpen games as a stop-gap? Isn’t this more on what Andrew could not or chose not to do after getting caught short on SP’s when an unlikely and unpredictable set of injuries to Gonsolin, May and Gray happened? BP games were a team strategy. This was trade avoidance or whatever from the front office down. Odd, I think given that we will probably trade for a SP before the deadline this season. I’d say we are waiting for the bad teams to fully tank and come to the table.

    I do clearly remember winching when I heard May was throwing 100 mph pitches early in spring training; obviously trying to win a spot in the rotation that was pretty going to be his at some point anyway. Letting him do that is on Roberts and his coaches! Just plain dumb!

  3. I second the motion of death to the bullpen games. Get Nelson up to speed along with Gonsolin for insurance

    • Right on Dodger 106W. Price, when healthy, could have been the interim 5th starter. After all, he’s been a starter for his whole career. Perhaps at least 3 innings and if pitch count is low, then let him give 5 at least. He’s done that before too.

      • I’ve got a perfect trade scenario. The Rockies are badly in need of a catcher. We know that they are sellers when it comes to Trevor Story and Jon Gray. We have Ruiz and if we either add McKinstry OR Lux along with Ruiz, I think that we can acquire both Story and Gray.

  4. I wouldn’t blame the performance in our bullpen games recently on Dave mismanaging them. We have barely scored any runs in those games. Kinda makes it hard to win.

  5. It’s great to have him back but don’t crown him as a savior. He is basically a #5 starter at best.

  6. Not that I disagree with anything in the article, but I am REALLY with you on the chocolate malt with wooden spoon issue.

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