Now, the return the Los Angeles Dodgers received for pitcher Mitch White wasn’t the issue at all. The overall “issue” some fans had with that trade deadline decision was that the behemoth 2022 roster was subtracting a fairly valuable piece.
So when Tony Gonsolin went down on Monday with a forearm strain — even if it’s not that concerning — the topic then became “Great, now who’s going to fill in and make starts as the rotation continues to get thin?”
Clayton Kershaw’s on the mend from his back injury, but you’d imagine he’ll be handled with caution upon return so he’s preserved for the postseason. Walker Buehler, as you know, is likely done until 2024. The trio of Gonsolin, Julio Urías and Tyler Anderson were hopefully going to provide some semblance of stability for August and Sept.
Andrew Heaney can obviously assist, but he’s been injured multiple times this year and can’t necessarily be counted on to remain healthy or provide ample length. Dustin May’s return has been huge, but the idea of him slotting into the rotation as a luxury rather than a necessity isn’t a solution.
So, what now? More Ryan Pepiot? Elevating David Price to a starter role (probably not)? Is Michael Grove actually going to start games?
Was it a mistake for the Dodgers to trade Mitch White at the deadline?
The Dodgers are now faced with multiple issues: filling Gonsolin’s spot in the interim; limping into the postseason as they attempt to get back to full strength; and properly forecasting Gonsolin’s injury, with something as unpredictable as a forearm strain.
White would’ve been the perfect in-house solution that could’ve provided quality outings as a rotation fill-in, as well as multi-inning relief appearances out of the bullpen. Though his play has witnessed a decline in Toronto, the right-hander has been a regular on Pitching Ninja’s Twitter account and he owned a 3.70 ERA, 3.96 FIP and 1.25 WHIP in 15 games (10 starts) with the Dodgers before the trade.
Gonsolin was emerging as a Game 4 postseason starter for LA and even looked like he’d be the Game 3 option after Buehler’s injury. Now, there’s no telling how his recovery will go in order to forecast October, and the Dodgers don’t have an immediate solution to replace his innings despite having one about four weeks ago.
Trading White wasn’t a fatal mistake, but it was a bizarre move considering the Dodgers know the stakes with pitching each and every year, with perhaps mounting evidence sitting right in front of them dating back to April when Heaney was the first to go down from the get-go.