Baseball America named Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin its 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year. The publication makes its selections based on the players’ accomplishments, but also places heavy weight on the candidates’ potential for future stardom.
Gonsolin made 11 appearances for the Dodgers a year ago but maintained his rookie status heading into this season. In nine games (eight starts), Gonsolin went 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 2.29 FIP and 0.84 WHIP across 46.2 innings pitched.
He additionally held opponents to a .193 batting average, posted one of the league’s best strikeout-to-walk ratios (6.57) and allowed only two home runs all year.
Those numbers are even more impressive considering Gonsolin reported late to Summer Camp due to what he believes was a false-positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test. As a result, he was excluded from the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster and didn’t make his first start for the club until July 31.
However, Gonsolin wasn’t able to replicate his success in the postseason. He allowed seven runs in two appearances against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series and then struggled as an opener against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the World Series, pitching on two days’ rest.
“Between Game 7 of last series and Game 2 (of the World Series), didn’t really have time to get a lift in, so I took my lift on the opener day,” he said.
“After the game they told me, so it was like, now my routine changed a little bit with the extra day but it worked out nicely. Took the next day off, then got my two lifts in, my bullpen on Game 4 and ready to go.”
Gonsolin did not use the lack of a routine as an excuse, however. “I’ve always just tried to be prepared for whenever I get the ball,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter if it’s a six-day rotation or whatever. It’s just finding that routine in between outings.”
Gonsolin again struggles, but Dodgers win World Series
Despite confidence that starting Game 6 on a normal routine, Gonsolin still struggled as he managed to retire just five of 10 batters faced. Though to his credit, the only run the Rays scored came on Randy Arozarena’s homer on a slider outside of the zone.
The L.A. bullpen backed Gonsolin with flawless work and the team went on to win their first World Series since 1988.
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