Dodgers Spring Training: Tony Gonsolin Using ‘Hybrid’ Approach

With a plethora of starting pitching depth, two of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias figure to be bumped out of the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation come Opening Day. The team has not publicly committed to such, but there’s an expectation Urias will receive the nod for the fifth spot.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently acknowledged there could be a scenario where Gonsolin, May and Urias each make the Opening Day roster. Of course, David Price being open to a possible role change could have a domino effect on the starting rotation as well.

Pitching not only figures to be of importance throughout the season, but for the Dodgers particularly so to start the season at Coors Field.

For now, the Dodgers are committed to building up each of the three — along with Jimmy Nelson — as starters. Though, Gonsolin and May have yet to make a start in Cactus League play. Gonsolin’s second appearance out of the bullpen came against the San Diego Padres.

“It feels good to be back on the mound trying to throw strikes,” he said after throwing two scoreless innings. “I threw extra pitches in the bullpen after the actual two innings. Just staying on track.”

Aware of the roster crunch that will eventually need to be addressed, Gonsolin is making an effort to prepare for any role. “Kind of trying to do a hybrid thing right now,” he said.

“I know I’m going to get stretched out, so I’m trying to go into it as I’m preparing for a game as a bullpen guy and then getting stretched out.”

Last season Gonsolin went 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in nine games (eight starts). He then started in three of four postseason games, but never found much of a rhythm and seemed to be affected by the swing role.

Roberts impressed by Gonsolin

Roberts has been open about the encouragement he’s provided to the group of pitchers despite uncertainty with what role they might hold. He offered more of the same after Gonsolin’s encouraging relief appearance.

“Tony has been throwing the baseball really well,” Roberts said. “From flat ground to his ‘pens to lives to in the game. This was his best outing. Two innings, the curveball was as good as it can be, fastball was good. Really, really positive today with Tony.”

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