Andrew Friedman Considers It ‘Possible’ Dustin May & Tony Gonsolin Receive Call-Ups To Bolster Dodgers Bullpen
Dustin May, Dodgers
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2019 MLB season approaches the halfway point, the Los Angeles Dodgers have established themselves as arguably the best team in the National League and one of the best in all of baseball.

Perhaps their only weakness to this point has been the bullpen, which ranks 18th in baseball with a 4.48 ERA and is tied for ninth-worst with 11 blown saves. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is known to be aggressive before the trade deadline, and he’s already identified the bullpen as an area he will look to fortify.

In addition to trade options, the Dodgers also may look internally to improve their bullpen late in the season.

Friedman recently said both of the organization’s top two pitching prospects, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, could receive a call up and be utilized as relief pitchers options at some point in 2019, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“It’s certainly possible. Sure,” Friedman said of seeing them in the Dodgers’ bullpen later this season. “There’s just a lot more that is going to play out before now and then. But as we’re assessing candidates we have a number of really exciting upside-type players in our existing bullpen and also in our minor leagues.”

May is just 21 years of age and hasn’t pitched above Double-A, so it is hard to see him reaching the Major Leagues this season unless he dominates in the Minors. In 12 starts for the Tulsa Drillers this season, he’s 2-5 with a 4.45 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 64 strikeouts and 16 walks in 58.2 innings.

Gonsolin is 25 and has spent the entire 2019 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, which makes him a more realistic option to make an impact at the big league level later this year.

He recently missed time due to injury, but in six starts is 1-1 while yielding a 2.12 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Gonsolin has 19 strikeouts against 11 walks over 17 innings pitched.

Both May and Gonsolin spent a majority of Spring Training in Major League camp this year and impressed the Dodgers coaching staff and front office. They are viewed as key to the next wave of the organization’s pitching prospects.

They both still project as starters long-term, but with the Dodgers having one of the best rotations in baseball at the moment, developing into effective relievers for the time being could be their quickest paths to the big leagues.

It’s a role Julio Urias filled, including in the postseason, prior to receiving extended opportunities to start for the Dodgers.