Tony Gonsolin took a step toward returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation by participating in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.
Gonsolin, who has been on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain since Aug. 29, threw an estimated 30 pitches over two innings, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts described as “encouraging.”
On Friday, Gonsolin felt as expected, so he is now scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
“Tony bounced back with some normal soreness, which is a good thing,” Roberts said. “I think as it stands right now, he’s slated for a rehab with OKC on Tuesday. Throw two innings, so that’s a good thing for us.”
Gonsolin is closing in on a month’s worth of missed games, which will limit how much he can be built back up. Thus, the Dodgers aren’t sure how many rehab appearances Gonsolin will need before he is ready to re-join the team.
“I think it’s all kind of contingent on how that one goes Tuesday,” Roberts said. “I don’t think there’s a set number of right now. We’ll just kind of see how Tuesday goes.”
With just 10 games left in the regular season, the Dodgers is running out of time to get him into Major League action before the postseason begins. Their first playoff game will take place on Oct. 11, but there are only four regular season games Gonsolin could reasonably pitch in after his rehab assignment.
What would Tony Gonsolin’s playoff role be?
If Gonsolin is activated in time for the postseason, the Dodgers could use him in a variety of ways, but the most important thing is getting him back to the team.
“I’ve already talked to Tony about number one, getting him back pitching,” Roberts said earlier this week. “And once we get to that point, then we’ll decide what role makes the most sense. So he’s open to whatever.”
Roberts could decide to use Gonsolin as a traditional starter and limit him to just a few innings, followed by Andrew Heaney or Tyler Anderson in a piggyback role, or they could put him in the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever.
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