Dodgers News: Tony Gonsolin Sets Goal Of Making 2020 Opening Day Roster
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin walks off the field during a game against the San Francisco Giants
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin was the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018, but still was not expected to make a big impact at the Major League level in 2019.

That didn’t end up being the case as he got an opportunity to make his MLB debut at the end of June and capitalized on his opportunities, spending most of the second half of the season with the Dodgers.

The 25-year-old proved he can be effective as both a starter and a reliever, going 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 1.03 WHIP in 11 games (six starts) while striking out 37 and walking 15 in 40 innings.

Despite Gonsolin being one of the team’s best pitchers down the stretch of the season, he ended up being the odd man out and was left off the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster.

Gonsolin recently spoke about being more at ease mentally this offseason now that he knows what it’s like to pitch and have success at the highest level. He also said in an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports that he has set a goal of making the Opening Day roster in 2020:

“It’s a great opportunity for me to go out there and compete, do the best that I can do in order to ideally earn a spot on the 26-man roster for Opening Day. It would be a phenomenal experience for me.”

Gonsolin will need to produce a superb Spring Training for that to be the case, considering the starting rotation options in the organization. Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias are all essentially locks to be in the rotation if healthy.

That leaves one spot remaining for the likes of Gonsolin, Dustin May, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Jimmy Nelson.

Given his past success in the bullpen, it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers convert Gonsolin into a long reliever if he does not earn a spot in the rotation. As a young pitcher that projects to be a starter long-term though, that may not be the best thing for his development.

Even if he does not make the Opening Day roster though, there is no question that Gonsolin will be pitching at the big league level for a majority of the 2020 season.

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