Tony Gonsolin allowed career-worsts five home runs and 10 runs on Friday night in what appears to have been his final start of 2023.
The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Gonsolin on the 15-day injured list prior to their doubleheader against the Miami Marlins. The official designation was right forearm inflammation, but Gonsolin has dealt with elbow trouble for upwards of six weeks.
When asked if he expected Gonsolin would be out for more than the minimum IL stint, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts answered, “I do.”
When further pressed on the injury and a timetable, Roberts said it was “unlikely” Gonsolin would pitch again this season.
“It’s elbow, and I don’t want to go too far into it because I don’t want to lead you guys too far astray,” Roberts added. “But it’s his right elbow. Once we get that scan, it will be really clear.”
Gonsolin’s 2023 season was delayed by a sprained left ankle suffered in Spring Training and he was activated off the IL earlier than expected because the starting rotation was hit by a rash of injuries.
It quickly became apparent the 29-year-old wasn’t himself and subpar results weren’t only a matter of needing to find a rhythm. Roberts began alluding to Gonsolin not recovering well between starts, but didn’t offer any specifics.
The Dodgers kept Gonsolin in their rotation because his right elbow injury would not worsen by continuing to pitch. There also was an extreme need for starting pitching depth because of additional injuries.
“I think where were were at in that point of time, and it’s been six weeks or something like that where he hasn’t felt great, and so I do commend him wholeheartedly,” Roberts said.
“I think he’s continued to gain the respect of the guys in the clubhouse and never made an excuse. Was it pain-free? Probably not. But I know as an organization we were very clear in knowing he was not going to hurt himself worse. We’re not going to do that to the player. We were all aligned and felt good about that. So I do complement Tony.”
In reality, it’s plausible Gonsolin’s right elbow trouble began last season when he missed one month because of a right forearm strain. He subsequently avoided arbitration by signing a two-year, $6.65 million contract extension that runs through the 2024 season.
How will Dodgers replace Tony Gonsolin?
Gonsolin’s spot in the starting rotation isn’t due up until next week, and because of off days Sunday and Monday, Dodgers have additional flexibility.
Roberts named Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone and Ryan Yarbrough as candidates to replace Gonsolin in the Dodgers’ rotation. Pepiot filled a bulk role in the first game of the doubleheader, and Roberts acknowledged the Dodgers are slightly hesitant to move Yarbrough into the rotation because of value he brings as a swingman capable of pitching multiple times each week.
“Right now we don’t have that decision to make,” Roberts said.
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