1. Dodgers Fifth Starter Pros and Cons: Tony Gonsolin
Most of Tony Gonsolin’s pros are simply built out of disbelief: how could the Dodgers not include him in the rotation after what he provided last season? 1.4 WAR, a 2.31 ERA, 46 Ks in 46.2 innings pitched. The story writes itself.
Gonsolin has also come to play this spring with a competitive fire, knowing his rotation spot was at stake. He’s dealt through the adversity, only allowing four hits in 10.1 innings pitched, letting three earned runs score (on two homers).
There is nothing about Gonsolin’s big-league tenure and spring that have earned him a demotion, and his pitch mix screams starter. Possibly the biggest pro in his corner: what exactly about his arsenal would “play up” in the bullpen? It would just feel like a demotion for demotion’s sake, a maneuver because of overflow only.
If you’d like to point to negatives, you can point to the way Gonsolin was perceived to have wilted under pressure last postseason, failing to pitch beyond three innings total in two laborious World Series starts.
We’re setting a rotation for Opening Day and the first portion of what is a 162-game season, though, plus a month (ideally!) of October competition. For the opening salvo, it’s hard to argue that anything we saw from Gonsolin last postseason really matters.
Bottom line? Gonsolin makes the least sense in the bullpen, so why not use him in the rotation? Price’s contract? That shouldn’t dictate policy.