Tony Gonsolin has been among the several members of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation to fall short of expectations this season, with his trouble beginning before Opening Day.
Gonsolin suffered a sprained left ankle during Spring Training that required a recovery period that was longer than expected. The 29-year-old didn’t make his season debut until April 26, but even that came quickly as Gonsolin’s rehab assignment was only one start due to Michael Grove’s right groin injury.
Gonsolin has pitched to mixed results throughout the season, which included allowing four runs in three consecutive starts heading into his outing against the New York Mets on Saturday. He managed to snap that streak by holding the Mets to just a Brandon Nimmo solo home run, though only completed five innings.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed his starter at just 54 pitches, which Gonsolin said he understood but felt capable of remaining in the game, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I can see where he’s coming from, for sure, but I wanted to stay out there,” Gonsolin said. “I felt like I had one, two more innings at least. It was pretty efficient.”
The 54 pitches are Gonsolin’s fewest of his 15 starts this season. While the Mets managed just one run, there was a bevy of hard contact made. Gonsolin also benefitted from the Dodgers turning multiple double plays.
The team has historically monitored workload for their starting pitchers, which Roberts’ decision essentially stemmed from. Gonsolin was on extra rest for his first start after the All-Star break and the Dodgers have three off days remaining this month, but his importance has seemingly grown with Clayton Kershaw not expected to return until August.
Dave Roberts focused on Tony Gonsolin’s slider
While Gonsolin’s fastball velocity has been down from last season’s average and fluctuated throughout the year, Roberts recently pinpointed his struggles to be more a result of an inconsistent slider.
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