Tony Gonsolin has been a breakout contributor for the Los Angeles Dodgers despite entering the season without a guaranteed spot in the starting rotation.
The right-hander earned his first trip to the All-Star Game after posting a 2.02 ERA in 93.2 innings across 17 starts while striking out 24.2% of hitters and walking 6.7% through the unofficial first half of the 2022 schedule.
However, in his last two outings, Gonsolin has allowed nine runs in 11 innings. And in his lone inning of work during the Midsummer Classic, he gave up three runs on two home runs. Gonsolin’s 3.41 FIP and .197 BABIP suggested he was due for some regression, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes there’s going to be another factor in play.
Gonsolin has yet to pitch more than 55.2 innings in any previous season of his Major League career, and after Monday’s outing, is now at 99.2 innings for this season.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Roberts said. “This is kind of uncharted territory for him, but I do believe having the rough fifth, and to go out there and still put up six innings, and he threw five scoreless innings.
“So I think that in itself was a positive. He saved our ‘pen an inning and he’ll have an extra day (of rest) before his next turn and be ready to go.”
Roberts defends Gonsolin’s pitching
Although Gonsolin gave up four runs in six innings and took his first loss of the year, Roberts believed the right-hander was better than the results showed and considered it a bounce-back outing from his last start in St. Louis when he gave up five runs in five innings.
“I thought he threw the ball well, actually,” Roberts said. “I don’t think the line score was indicative of the way he threw the baseball. I thought he made a lot of borderline pitches that we didn’t get the calls on.
“I thought Carlos did a great job back there, but just very close pitches that could’ve flipped counts. And then the Soto ground ball, the chopper that ends up being a triple and drives in two, the Hernández flare that drives in a run.
“I still think giving up four runs through six innings and kind of how it manifested, I thought he threw the ball fine. We just couldn’t put anything together. Espino, we just didn’t see him well and then they went to the ‘pen and matched up.
“We had a couple opportunities, couldn’t cash in. But there’s really not a whole lot to dig in on.”
Gonsolin still holds a stellar 2.26 ERA through 18 starts, but the Dodgers would be wise to find him some extra rest at some point in the near future. They do intend to go with a six-man rotation for at least a week when Andrew Heaney returns from the 15-day injured on Wednesday, but Roberts has already said that won’t be a long-term solution
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