On Sunday, when Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about Tony Gonsolin’s progress in the right-hander’s return from a forearm strain, he said it was encouraging. However, Roberts then added Gonsolin would only be able to be stretched out to four innings if all went as planned.
With an already-thin rotation due to injuries all over the place, it wasn’t the news LA fans wanted to hear. Gonsolin, statistically, has been the Dodgers’ best starter in 2022. Even if fully healthy, he wouldn’t be starting a Game 1, but losing his 16-1 record, 2.10 ERA, 3.34 FIP and 0.87 WHIP on a max capacity basis is a killer.
But on Tuesday, Roberts took Dodgers fans for a loop. He told reporters that the plan is for Gonsolin to be one of the team’s four postseason starters alongside Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson, should his rehab outing with Triple-A Oklahoma City go well.
His Sunday comments about Gonsolin’s buildup might still be true … but he didn’t seem to clarify that when answering questions before the series opener against the San Diego Padres.
Maybe the whole situation is back to the optimism expressed when Gonsolin first hit the IL? It was initially believed he’d be back fairly quickly and ready to resume his usual workload.
Dodgers’ update on Tony Gonsolin is encouraging for the postseason
So what is it? Will Gonsolin be able to return for the NLDS ready to rock with an uninterrupted workload? Will he be used as an opener? Will he be used as a spot starter and piggybacked by someone like Andrew Heaney? We need answers!
As the Dodgers’ postseason rotation stands, it’s really not that bad. They have three very capable arms, with Urías and Kershaw carrying a ton of playoff experience, while Anderson is the king of inducing soft contact.
Speaking of Anderson, over the weekend, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic talked about how the Dodgers were reportedly hesitant to give Anderson a playoff start in the division series due to his inability to miss bats. That was shot down just days later when Roberts said Anderson would be getting Game 3 of the NLDS when the time comes.
Are the Dodgers sending mixed signals/reports to keep the opposition on their toes? Do they want the winner of the likely Padres-Braves/Mets series guessing? Or are there just simply too many variables here to pin down a definitive plan once Oct. 11 rolls around?
The Dodgers have done a great job fixing their issues on the fly, and it’s led to the best record in baseball. So whether Gonsolin can be unleashed or not, it’s more than likely LA will figure it out. But with two full weeks to get back on track after last appearing in a game on Aug. 23, it wouldn’t be too farfetched if Gonsolin was able to get back up to speed, should his arm not limit him.
The Cat Man has nine lives. He won’t be going down that easy.