Tony Gonsolin May Join Dodgers After Next Rehab Start With Oklahoma City

The Los Angeles Dodgers are utilizing a bullpen game Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals for what may be the final time out of necessity as Tony Gonsolin nears his return from right shoulder inflammation.

Gonsolin has yet to make his 2021 debut as he was placed on the 10-day injured list April 4 (retroactive to April 1). He was then transferred to the 60-day IL in order to make the signing of Albert Pujols official, which made Monday the earliest possible date for an activation.

The paper move didn’t have much impact as Gonsolin was still in the early stages of a progression on rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. That continues this week, which could then be followed by Gonsolin joining the Dodgers rotation.

“Tony is going to throw in another game with our Triple-A club on [Thursday],” manager Dave Roberts said. “The goal is five (innings) and 70-ish (pitches), something like that. After that, if it goes well, he’ll rejoin us for the next turn.”

The start will be Gonsolin’s third of his rehab assignment. He went 3.2 innings last week, falling just short of the targeted goal. Gonsolin retired the first 11 batters faced in that outing, only to issue a walk and surrender back-to-back home runs.

Most importantly, the 27-year-old hasn’t experienced any setbacks. Gonsolin’s importance grew exponentially when Dustin May suffered a right elbow injury that required season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Gonsolin was among three starting pitchers the Dodgers shifted to the bullpen on their Opening Day roster, but has been earmarked for the fifth starter role since beginning the rehab assignment.

Pollock potentially joining Dodgers on road trip

In addition to Gonsolin nearing his return, so too are AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson. Pollock is on a rehab assignment with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, and is scheduled to travel with the Dodgers on Thursday.

Roberts indicated Pollock and Jimmy Nelson could be reinstated from the IL during the Braves series this weekend, or shortly after.

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