Early into a condensed Spring Training period, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney were due to be part of the Opening Day starting rotation along with Walker Buehler, Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw.
Gonsolin then received an opportunity to start against the Colorado Rockies in the Opening Series and although he only allowed one run, the outing was just three innings. That was followed by starts of four innings and six innings, then four again to close out April.
The month of May has seen the right-hander take a notable step forward and during a time the Dodgers have needed every bit of it.
After holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to two runs over six innings, Gonsolin attributed his success to quality of pitches and being more confident, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I feel like I’m throwing strikes when I need to and quality strikes, that is,” Gonsolin said of his recent run of three consecutive quality starts.
“Mechanics are pretty similar to years past. It’s just going after and attacking guys. … Just having more confidence that my stuff is going to work, whatever it is.”
Even when taking into account his shorter outings this year, Gonsolin has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all nine starts. He’s also in the midst of having logged six innings in three consecutive starts for the first time in his career.
When previously discussing strides made this season, Gonsolin noted he’s benefitted from conversations with Kershaw.
“Mainly just being able to throw offspeed stuff for strikes and throwing a lot of strikes,” Gonsolin said of takeaways from those talks. “Not throwing non-competitive pitches, figuring out what pitch works for me to get weak contact early in counts.”
Tony Gonsolin stats for May
Gonsolin certainly has a case to be named National League Pitcher of the Month as he went 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 31 strikeouts and eight walks across 28 innings over five starts.
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