On the year, the lefty “reliever” still sports some unsightly numbers: a 4.00 ERA, along with 23 hits in just 18 innings pitched.
Since his return from an early-season IL stint, though, things have very much normalized, with only a speed bump on June 1 against the Cardinals standing out as troublesome in any way.
With Gonsolin’s return plan seeming imminent, ask yourself this: when he’s healthy, would you rather shoehorn him into the rotation immediately, or continue along this course, piggybacking Price with Gonsolin every fifth day if possible?
Depends on the length of the recent winning streak, but we have our answer.
The Dodgers should permanently pair David Price with Tony Gonsolin.
As Gonsolin continues to work his way back to full strength, we would much rather see Los Angeles toy with using the opener strategy every fifth day, especially considering Price has had a chance to adjust to things (and thrive) over the past several weeks.
You want to call Gonsolin a “starter” and add him to the “starting rotation”? Sure. But for at least his first two or three outings back, we’d rather see Price bore his way through the lineup once before turning things over to the righty.
After all, we’re looking at three months of inactivity, soreness, and stretching out here. This wasn’t a catnap away from live baseball action. Even in Gonsolin’s most recent rehab start, after which he was deemed “ready,” the righty didn’t complete four innings.
Wouldn’t you rather see Price and Gonsolin semi-permanently team up in an effort to get Los Angeles through six or seven innings nightly than place Gonsolin out there in the first inning on a pedestal?
In the grand scheme of things, we’re debating the mechanics of the fifth starter spot to be used by one of the hottest teams in baseball, who just got Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry back and are nearly ready to compete at full strength. The Dodgers will likely be fine whether they set Gonsolin up to succeed or not in his return to the rotation.
We’d recommend continuing to “start” all of these games with Price on the mound, though, then using Gonsolin as a fresh look before his pitch counts get beefed up.
And even when he gets his juice back, what about Price entering in the sixth or seventh to finish the job anytime he’s on the mound? Not bad, right?