The Los Angeles Dodgers made a minor change to their starting rotation by deciding to have Tony Gonsolin follow Clayton Kershaw against the Cincinnati Reds in the series finale on Sunday.
Both pitchers recently returned from the injured list and are continuing to build up their arms. The move allows both to keep pitching while also getting the bullpen some extra rest.
Although Gonsolin will pitch out of the bullpen on Sunday, he is expected to move back in the rotation after that.
“After Sunday, Tony will get back in the rotation. This is just a way to keep him going and get him back in the rotation after that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained.
The decision lets them get Walker Buehler, Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Julio Urias pitching more down the stretch if they need to as they still trail the San Francisco Giants.
It also gives L.A. the option to get any of those pitchers an extra day of rest.
“That’s part of it and also with the off day, they’ll be on regular and once we have a stretch of however many (games) in a row, we’ll insert Tony so they’ll get an extra day (of rest) their next time around,” Roberts said. “We value all those guys.”
Getting ready for October
As Kershaw continues to build up, he will likely only be able to make three more starts before the season ends. However, Roberts is confident Kershaw will be able to get back to full strength before the playoffs.
“I don’t know if it’s three or four, but regardless he’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the postseason if all continues to go well,” Roberts said.
If Kershaw isn’t able to get to the point where he can pitch deep into games, it could result in Gonsolin piggybacking Kershaw in October, especially with the club only needing four starting pitchers in the postseason, but such a decision is not yet being given any consideration.
“I think anything is open, but we’re far away from thinking about October baseball,” Roberts said.
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