By the numbers, Tony Gonsolin has been the Dodgers best starting pitcher. Tony, who earned his first All-Star selection this season after posting a 1.62 ERA in his first 16 starts, has been one of LA’s surprising stars on a roster chock full of established stars. Gonsolin carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning on Friday, and left the game with just one earned run in 6.2 IP. It’s mid-August and his ERA stands at 2.24.
But that’s not the only number that is cause for pause.
Gonsolin has pitched 116.1 innings this year. His MLB career high is 55.2 (2021), although he did pitch 128 innings in the minors in 2018.
Which begs the question, should the Dodgers start to throttle back his workload to avoid him burning out before October? LA was in a similar situation last year with Julio Urías and Walker Buehler, who both logged MLB career highs in innings pitched before falling apart in the post season.
Manager Dave Roberts doesn’t share those concerns (quotes via The Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett).
“Tony has the blinders on right now. He knows where he’s at. He knows this is uncharted territory. But he’s doing everything he can to stay strong and healthy. … I want him to go as hard as he can as long as he can.”
Roberts believes that Gonsolin’s preparation between starts, his mentality, and his 28-year-old arm are up to the task of handling a heavy regular season workload and still performing come playoff time.
“I think so. I don’t see why not. I’m sure he’s not the only guy in postseason history that’s surpassed their previous innings totals. I know there’s going to be adrenaline built in. He’s in the prime of his career. He’s taking care of himself. So I don’t see why we can’t keep this going.”
If the Dodgers are going to win their second championship in three seasons, Roberts will have to hope that his Gonsolin gambit pays off.
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