The Los Angeles Dodgers have considered Tony Gonsolin one of their most talented pitchers since he was first recognized as one of their top prospects in 2019. However, he was never quite able to translate that talent to consistent results.
From his MLB debut in 2019 through 2021, Gonsolin was still effective, posting a 2.55 ERA, but he struggled with inconsistency and only made 27 starts and threw 120 innings to go along with a 3.45 FIP, 9.45 strikeouts per nine and 3.38 walks per nine.
Last season, the right-hander posted a 4.54 FIP and walked 14.2% of hitters as he dealt with right-shoulder inflation that limited him to just 55.2 innings. This season, the 28-year-old has been the most effective starter on a team with a rotation led by Walker Buehler and Julio Urías.
After the 2021 season, Gonsolin revealed he made it a goal of his to reach the 2022 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, via MLB Network Radio:
“Yeah, definitely. Coming into the season, in the offseason and during the lockout, it’s really what my goal was this year. Was to come back, feel good, be healthy and do my best to try to make the All-Star team. That was one of my main goals this year personally. So we’ll see what happens with that. We’ve got another month and a half.”
While Gonsolin’s strikeout rate is down from his previous two seasons, he is limiting quality contact incredibly well. He is in the top 3% of pitchers at preventing hard contact, and is in the 74th percentile of giving up barrels.
Gonsolin is also pitching with increased confidence that continues to build after every quality start. This has allowed him to attack the strike zone with more strikes and less waste pitches.
The increased aggressiveness has led to Gonsolin pitching deeper into games as well. He has made four consecutive starts pitching six innings after he made it a point of emphasis to go deeper into games and received some help from Clayton Kershaw.
Gonsolin has posted a 1.59 ERA and 3.04 FIP in 51 innings across 10 starts so far this season.
Gonsolin disappointed with offspeed pitches against Mets
In a game where runs were at a premium, Gonsolin held the high-powered Mets lineup scoreless over six innings to improve to 6-0 on the season. He allowed just two hits and collected five strikeouts.
Gonsolin relied heavily on his fastball as he wasn’t pleased with the feel of his offspeed pitches. “I wasn’t really throwing anything offspeed for strikes, honestly,” he began.
“Curveball was high, slider was not great. Splitter was OK, threw it for some strikes when I needed to, and it worked out well when I needed to. But the fastball ultimately was the savior.”
Coming off being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gonsolin felt a little more pressure to have a good outing against the Mets. “Just a little more nervous going into it,” he admitted.
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