Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed on Friday that RHP Tony Gonsolin would not be ready to start the season on the active roster. Gonsolin suffered a sprained ankle following a spring training drill last week, and it’s not progressing as well as the team initially hoped. They’re proceeding with extra caution in regards to the injury, and Gonsolin is expected to start the season on the Injured List.
So, that obviously begs the question:
Who Will Replace Gonsolin on the Dodgers Opening Day Roster?
Before Friday, Roberts made it clear that RHPs Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove would be vying for that spot. However, on Friday, Roberts mentioned a third name (per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic): RHP Andre Jackson.
All three pitchers have been solid thus far in spring, but Jackson has actually been the best of the bunch.
In three games, Jackson has pitched 6.0 innings, and has allowed zero runs, given up just five hits, walked one batter and struck out seven. He’s been absolutely lights out and, if that continues, should have a real case to open the season in the starting rotation.
As for the other options, Grove has pitched 8.2 innings in four appearances this spring. He’s allowed four runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out eight for an ERA of 4.15.
Finally, there’s Pepiot, who’s on the bump on Friday against the Cubs. Ahead of that start, though, Pepiot has pitched 6.0 innings across three games, and has allowed one run, seven hits and one walk while striking out nine, for an ERA of 1.50.
It seems like the Dodgers can’t really go wrong with either of these options, although at this point, I think Pepiot is the favorite. He’s not only off to a dominant spring, he also has the most experience at the big league level, making seven starts and nine appearances with the club last season.
With less than two weeks to go until Opening Day, every start for these three pitchers will be crucial. Pepiot’s first is coming on Friday against the Cubs — first pitch is 1:05 p.m. PST.
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