Tony Gonsolin made just one start during Spring Training due to a sprained left ankle that prevented him from being included on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster.
The Dodgers initially believed Gonsolin would make a quick recovery, but swelling persisted and he only recently started throwing off a mound. The latest instance was Thursday, when manager Dave Roberts estimated Gonsolin threw 30 pitches during a bullpen session.
“Tony is doing well,” Roberts said. “Came out of [Thursday’s] ‘pen really well, did some sprint work [Friday]. He’s going to throw a bullpen here on Sunday, and then at that point in time he’ll throw to hitters on Wednesday in Arizona at CBR.”
The Dodgers had more than weeks to plan for being without Gonsolin to begin the season, but that went wayward as Ryan Pepiot was put on the 15-day injured list because of a left oblique strain.
Pepiot had edged Michael Grove for the fifth spot in the Dodgers starting rotation as part of a competition Roberts said was a difficult decision. Instead, Grove is now part of the Dodgers Opening Day rotation for the time being.
Meanwhile, Gonsolin is looking to build on what was his first career All-Star season. He went 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over 24 starts. The year did end in disappointment as he dealt with a right forearm strain.
Prior to the simply misstepping and spraining his ankle, Gonsolin indicated he expected to benefit from being healthy throughout the offseason.
“Fairly normal winter. I knew what to expect going into a season, having thrown as many innings as I did last year,” Gonsolin said after what end up being his only Cactus League start.
“So I had a better understanding of what I was preparing for. So I came into this Spring Training feeling strong and ready to go.”
How many starts will Michael Grove make for Tony Gonsolin?
Grove is scheduled to start Monday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies, but how many turns he’ll make in the rotation is unclear.
“Some of it has to do certainly with performance,” Roberts noted. “Some of it has to do with the roster and where we’re at with that. But I think a couple, two to three starts at the floor is pretty safe.”
Gonsolin’s 15-day IL stint was backdated to March 27.
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