After being called up and impressing the Los Angeles Dodgers brass towards the end of the 2019 season, Tony Gonsolin had his name on the radar going into Spring Training this year.
Unfortunately, Gonsolin arrived at Summer Camp late due to what he called a false positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test, so he was ultimately left off the Opening Day roster. But after a few Dodgers starters went down with injuries, the rookie right-hander got called up and never really looked back.
His 2020 debut came against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31 in an outing that saw Gonsolin toss four shutout innings as he continued to build up his pitch count. Overall in nine games (eight starts) in the regular season, he went 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 2.29 FIP and 0.84 WHIP with 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 46.2 innings.
Gonsolin was named Baseball America’s 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year for his efforts and also received some National League Rookie of the Year votes.
Because the Dodgers swept the first two rounds of the postseason, Gonsolin went 18 days between starts before taking the mound in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
That may have contributed to Gonsolin’s postseason struggles as in four October games (three starts), he pitched to a 8.68 ERA with 13 strikeouts and an uncharacteristic nine walks in 9.1 innings.
Gonsolin did get the start in Game 6 of the World Series when the Dodgers closed out the Tampa Bay Rays, although he only lasted 1.2 innings while allowing three hits and a run with four strikeouts and two walks.
Gonsolin’s best start of the season came on Aug. 18 against the Seattle Mariners. He tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts and no walks in a game the Dodgers went on to win, 2-1.
He also struck out a career-high 10 batters on Sept. 20 against the Colorado Rockies, doing so in just five innings of work.
As things currently stand, Gonsolin will head into next with a chance to earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation. If he is not one of the Dodgers’ top five starters to begin the year, there is no doubt he will make an impact at some point whenever an injury happens.
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