Whenever Los Angeles Dodgers have called on Tony Gonsolin to pitch this season, he has succeeded seemingly each time out.
In 11 games (six starts) in his debut season in 2019, Gonsolin went 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 1.03 WHIP in 40 innings. He has followed that up with an even better showing this season, going 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA, 2.84 FIP and 0.79 WHIP with 30 strikeouts and six walks in 35.2 innings across seven games (six starts) so far.
Despite his success in 2019, Gonsolin ultimately was left off the Dodgers’ postseason roster. This year is expected to be quite different though as not only is it safe to assume he will be on the roster, but he also likely will be in the rotation considering there now will be no off days during series so teams will need upwards of five starters after the first round.
After turning in arguably the best outing of his young career on Tuesday night, tossing seven innings of one-run ball while allowing just four hits with two strikeouts and no walks in a win over the San Diego Padres, Gonsolin discussed the possibility of pitching in October.
“Every outing is an opportunity to show and try to convince the staff and front office of making the playoff roster,” he said. “Ideally, that’s the goal, and at the end of that winning the games in October and taking home the championship.”
A big reason for Gonsolin’s success has been the development of his offspeed pitches, which were all on display against the Padres.
“I thought early on the splitter and slider were pretty good, and later the slider kind of tapered off and the curveball kind of came around. It was nice to be able to use everything,” Gonsolin noed.
The development of his curveball, in particular, is something Gonsolin believes is a key to his success. “Definitely puts the thought in their mind that any of the four pitches can come at any time,” he said. “It kind of makes it harder to just sit on something.”
Roberts confirms Gonsolin expected to be on postseason roster
After watching Gonsolin turn in another strong outing against a formidable Padres team, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts essentially confirmed the rookie will be on the postseason roster.
“He’s certainly in the plan. The great thing about us is we have a lot of options with starting pitching,” Roberts said.
“We know Clayton and Walker are going to start Games 1 and 2, and when you’re talking about a three-game series, there’s some discussions that need to be had with the rest of the three guys. We’re in a good spot.”
How the Dodgers align their rotation behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw is undecided, although it will be Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias, in some order.
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