Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin to undergo Tommy John surgery in latest long-term rotation blow

The Dodgers have some scrambling to do.
Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Julio Urías' upcoming free agency was always bound to be costly, and while it's difficult to envision the Dodgers' rotation without him, Los Angeles' braintrust certainly intended to do just that.

After all, Andrew Friedman envisioned Walker Buehler atop the team's rotation long-term, with Dustin May behind him and Tony Gonsolin serving as an overqualified fifth starter.

Following Monday evening's news, all three of those potential standout failsafes has been lost, and it's onto Plan J.

Per reports, Gonsolin will join a rehabbing Buehler and May, recovering from a second UCL procedure in three years, on the shelf. He'll undergo Tommy John surgery as well, hastening the Dodgers' search for trustworthy arms this offseason while youngsters like Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone and Ryan Pepiot hopefully fill out the mid-to-back end of a playoff rotation.

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin to undergo Tommy John surgery

Though the procedure is more commonplace than ever, the recovery timeline hasn't changed much; Gonsolin still will not be available until the 2025 season. At that point, he'll have two years of team control left.

The crafty righty known as Cat Man broke out in earnest in 2022, earning an All-Star berth by going a gaudy 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 130.1 innings, allowing just 79 hits. His sole playoff start left the team wanting more, though; he went just 1.1 innings against San Diego after fighting back from a forearm strain.

This season's performance, limited by a seemingly unrelated ankle sprain coming out of spring training, predictably never got off on a sturdy foot. The right-hander returned on April 26, but was recently felled again when he surrendered 10 runs in 3.1 innings against the Miami Marlins, clearly compromised.

It already seemed as if Gonsolin's future in blue was in doubt when he was shut down for the 2023 season, but now he'll no longer serve as a viable trade chip, either. Instead, the Dodgers will have to wait out the latest in a rash of elbow surgeries, while likely being backed into a forthcoming corner by Lance Lynn's 2024 option.