2020 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Victor Gonzalez

Before the 2020 season, not too many people outside of those that follow the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system closely knew the name Victor Gonzalez.

The Dodgers originally signed the left-handed pitcher out of Mexico in 2012 during the same scouting trip that landed them both Yasiel Puig and Julio Urias.

While Gonzalez did not make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster in 2020, he was eventually called up and turned in arguably the best season for any of their relievers.

Overall in 15 regular-season appearances (one start), Gonzalez pitched to a 1.33 ERA, 1.67 FIP and 0.74 WHIP with 23 strikeouts and just two walks in 20.1 innings.

Because of his outstanding regular season, Gonzalez earned a spot on the Dodgers’ postseason roster and was one of their high-leverage arms out of the bullpen.

Gonzalez came up huge for the Dodgers on multiple occasions throughout their World Series run. He appeared in eight total games in the postseason, yielding a 2.70 ERA and 1.35 WHIP with five strikeouts and four walks in 6.2 total innings.

With Caleb Ferguson going down with a season-ending elbow injury in September, Gonzalez was counted on as the Dodgers’ best left-handed option out of the bullpen and despite being a rookie, he was certainly up for the task.

2020 highlight

Gonzalez’s entire 2020 season was essentially one big highlight, but a specific outing worth noting was his performance in Game 6 of the World Series. Gonzalez entered in the fifth inning of a close game and pitched 1.1 perfect innings, striking out three of four hitters he faced.

The Dodgers wound up taking the lead in the sixth inning, so Gonzalez was the winning pitcher in L.A.’s closeout game over the Tampa Bay Rays to clinch their first championship in 32 years.

With Julio Urias getting the save in that game, it made for a memorable story with the two pitchers the Dodgers signed out of Mexico both factoring into the decision.

2021 outlook

As it currently stands, Gonzalez is the only left-handed reliever on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster who is trustworthy in high-leverage situations. While that will likely change before the end of the offseason, there is no doubt that Gonzalez will be a big part of the Dodgers’ bullpen again in 2021 and for many years to come after that.

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