Tony Gonsolin is back on the IL. The Dodgers’ starter missed the first two months of the season with a shoulder issue and unfortunately – the issue returned. Gonsolin is shut down for now, according to Dave Roberts and, really, it’s beginning to feel like a lost season for hard throwing right-hander.
Gonsolin’s stop-and-start 2021 comes on the heels of a fantastic 2020 campaign. The righty ranked fourth in starter ERA (1.94) in 2020 amongst pitchers with at least 40 IP. He gave up just one home run in 41.2 IP.
Analysts and pundits alike were raving about Gonsolin, and rightfully so. Gonsolin has an electric fastball, plus slider, and a devastating splitter. In this writer’s opinion, he has all of the potential to become an All-Star caliber starter.
During spring training (remember when all the Dodgers starters were healthy?) Gonsolin penciled into the swingman role prototyped by Ross Stripling. The plan was to provide enough starts to keep the regular starters fresh, and most importantly, healthy.
As is the theme with this Dodgers season, things did not go according to plan.
Gonsolin has made just nine starts this season in a year when they need him the most. Dustin May has been out since the month of May. Kershaw has been out since early July. Trevor Bauer remains on administrative leave amidst sexual assault allegations.
This is the season for Gonsolin to prove himself as a full time starter for the Dodgers. His 2.78 ERA this year is great at first blush. However, his 4.45 FIP and .256 BABIP show that he’s been awfully lucky on balls hit into play. The control also hasn’t been there. Gonsolin owns a 6.6 walks per nine innings – his career high.
There is still time for the promising righty, but that time, is running out quickly.