Dodgers’ roster competition heats up after Tony Gonsolin’s start
The Dodgers’ postseason roster competition officially kicked off after the trade deadline. Tony Gonsolin’s strong start has the competition scorching.
Tony Gonsolin made his first career start at home for the Dodgers last night and it was a fantastic outing. Gonsolin went six innings, allowing two hits, no runs, one walk, and recorded seven strikeouts. The cat lover was quick to pounce on the Cardinals’ hitters getting ahead with his four-seam fastball.
In addition to his mid 90s fastball, Tony mixed in his slider and splitter to keep batters off-balance all game long. Gonsolin’s splitter was very effective to left-handed batters and he countered right-handed hitters with his slider. After looking overwhelmed in his MLB debut in which the Dodger defense failed him, Tony has been much better in his last two outings.
Before the deadline, Gonsolin threw four innings at Coors Field allowing just one run on one hit. If you combine his start last night with that relief outing in Colorado, he has thrown ten innings allowing just three hits, one run, one walk, and ten strikeouts. Tony has gotten a few more outings in than Dustin May so far and looks like the real deal.
The one advantage that Gonsolin has over Dustin May is that injuries limited his innings so he could start the rest of the regular season and postseason if he earns that opportunity. Dustin May has thrown over 110 innings this season between his one big league start and the minor leagues so he could shift to the bullpen once September rolls around.
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Tony Gonsolin has thrown just over fifty innings in total between the minor leagues and the big leagues. Whatever role the Dodgers decide to use Gonsolin in, he can be effective with the three-pitch mix of his fastball, slider, and splitter. While he doesn’t throw as hard as Dustin May, Gonsolin averages 94.8 MPH on his fastball which looks a lot faster after throwing his splitter.
Although the Dodgers are a near-lock for the postseason, their roster remains anything but certain. The fourth starter spot for the postseason is up for grabs with Rich Hill not returning until September and he may not have enough time to work his pitch count up to be a starter. Then there is the bullpen where there are at least three spots open for the playoff roster.
Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, and Julio Urias figure to be the locks for the playoff bullpen. Despite his recent struggles as a starter, Kenta Maeda should also be a lock for the postseason bullpen. That would leave three spots open and deadline acquisition Adam Kolarek is likely to nab one of those spots. The other two could go to May and Gonsolin.
After making just a few moves at the trade deadline, Andrew Friedman is trusting the talent that the Dodgers have been pumping out from their farm system. Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are the two latest products of the farm system and both appear to have bright futures in Los Angeles.