The Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day rotation was largely set when the team reported for the start of Spring Training, but Tony Gonsolin spraining his left ankle during a workout created some uncertainty.
The Dodgers initially believed Gonsolin would only miss a short amount of time, but manager Dave Roberts has since said his recovery will be more drawn out. Gonsolin just began throwing from flat ground this week and when he’ll get off a mound is unclear.
That left Gonsolin’s status for the start of the regular season in jeopardy, which now has been said to be the case.
Roberts confirmed Gonsolin won’t be included on the Dodgers Opening Day roster, according to David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports:
Dave Roberts said Tony Gonsolin won’t make Opening Day roster due to his left ankle injury. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) March 17, 2023
Gonsolin has made just one Cactus League start thus far, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels. He got through the outing unscathed despite allowing three hits and issuing two walks.
Given the anticipated slower recovery and Gonsolin not poised to be with the Dodgers for the start of the regular season, it’s likely he won’t pitch again in Cactus League play. However, the right-hander conceivably could start in a B game prior to likely remaining in extended Spring Training.
The ankle injury is a disappointing development for Gonsolin, who was looking to build on a 2022 All-Star season and bounce back from ending the year not fully healthy.
“I knew what to expect going into a season, having thrown as many innings as I did last year,” Gonsolin said of his offseason workouts. “So I had a better understanding of what I was preparing for. So I came into this Spring Training feeling strong and ready to go.
“I didn’t know what my workload was going to be last year. Coming off ’21, being hurt and missing most of the year, and then we had the lockout and all that stuff, so not being fully built up coming into a new spring, shorter spring.
“Having last year be what it was and this (past) offseason being a full offseason, normal Spring Training, it’s been pretty nice.”
How will Dodgers replace Tony Gonsolin?
Gonsolin not being ready for Opening Day has created an opportunity for Michael Grove, Ryan Pepiot and potentially Andre Jackson to fill in. All three pitchers have earned praise from Roberts at various points during Spring Training.
It’s plausible two of Grove, Jackson and Pepiot make the Dodgers Opening Day roster. Under that scenario, Grove or Jackson could serve as a swingman out of the bullpen.
Because of an off day in their schedule, the Dodgers technically only need a fifth starter once in their first 13 games.
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