Dodgers News: Tony Gonsolin Pleased With Slider Development
Tony Gonsolin
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

Tony Gonsolin didn’t factor into the decision on Saturday night but he again provided the Los Angeles Dodgers with a quality start and also took a step forward with the progression and confidence in throwing a slider.

Gonsolin similarly followed in the footsteps of Dustin May, who effectively mixed in a breaking ball — he describes as a slurve — throughout his outing in the series opener against the Colorado Rockies.

That development is key for both young pitchers as they work to expand their respective repertoires in preparation for a possible role in the Dodgers’ postseason starting rotation.

“I thought early on the splitty was not really working and the slider was there, so kind of just went to it a little more,” Gonsolin said. “I thought it was really good.

“It looked like it was sharp and break was a little later, so I just kind of rolled with it. It’s great to be able to throw offspeed pitches for strikes. I couldn’t really find it with the curveball; I threw, like, one for strike.

“The slider was there the whole game, splitter came around at the end and overall the fastball command wasn’t great. It’s always nice to throw strikes with the other stuff.”

Although the split-changeup is considered a plus-pitch, Gonsolin prefers his other offspeed offering. “I love throwing the slider. I personally really like throwing it,” he said.

“I can’t argue that throwing the splitter is the best pitch, but I personally like to throw the slider a lot. I think it’s good. I hope it stays there.”

Gonsolin tied a career high with eight strikeouts and held the Rockies to just two runs (one earned) on three hits over six innings. He’s allowed three or fewer hits in each of his five starts this season.

“It goes to show if my stuff is working, I feel like I’m confident and when I throw the ball across the plate either they’re not going to hit it or get some soft contact,” Gonsolin said. “If they do hit it well, I feel like our positioning has been great with George and Dino doing their research. It’s been awesome to be able to play with the defense behind me.”

He attempted to lobby Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to leave him in the game, but the right-hander was removed after just 75 pitches. Although Roberts lifted the rookie starter, it was not out of any sort of disappointment with his performance.

“Overall really good. You know he’s always going to compete,” Roberts said. “I thought the slider was good, I thought the fastball velocity was good, the command wasn’t good with the fastball. There was a lot of middle-middle, but he and Austin worked really well with the split-change. Didn’t have that early, landed the curveball late.

“I thought he got into a rhythm the last couple innings. Tony continues to grow and get better with each outing.”

Gonsolin gaining confidence

Similar to a sentiment May and Julio Urias have shared, Gonsolin is also buoyed by the faith being shown in him as a regular member of the rotation. “It’s great,” he said.

“I had a rough outing in Dallas, but to get my work in between starts and come out and have a performance like today, it’s awesome for me personally confidence-wise. I hope to continue it in the future.”

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