Dodgers rookie Tony Gonsolin was scheduled to make his seventh start of the season Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays but was later scratched in favor of bullpen pitcher Casey Sadler. Manager Dave Roberts did have a reason for the sudden change as the team gets closer to the postseason, however.
Dave Roberts said he switched starters because Gonsolin would pitch out of the ‘pen if he makes the postseason roster. He told the Rays last night, but the club didn’t announce publicly.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 18, 2019
Gonsolin has been nothing short of impressive during his first season receiving time at the major league level. He’s appeared in 8 games and started 6 of those on his way to a 3-2 record and a 2.85 ERA.
If anything, his performance thus far has put pressure on the front office to include him on the roster when the playoffs start.
This list of pitchers have held a 3.02 ERA when pitching out of the bullpen since the start of August:
Ready for October, baby.
— Daniel Preciado (@DanJPreciado) September 16, 2019
A Valuable Piece in the Bullpen
While Gonsolin has primarily been a starter during his time with the Dodgers, he has the potential to be a formidable piece in what has been somewhat a lackluster bullpen come October.
In his two relief appearances this year which amounted to a total of seven innings, the RHP put up a 2.57 ERA only allowing five hits and striking out seven. This is without a doubt a small sample size, but if its any indication of the value he adds to the bullpen, the Dodgers may be wise to keep him on the roster.
Do you think Tony Smokes deserves a spot on the playoff roster, albeit as a relief pitcher? Let us know what you think below!