Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Talks Latest on Victor Gonzalez

Dodgers reliever Victor Gonzalez has had a tough go of it over the last couple of seasons. After bursting onto the scene in 2020, the left-hander has appeared in just 44 big league games over the last two seasons — all of those came in 2021.

Last year, Gonzalez dealt with issues in his left elbow that ultimately required a clean up operation in April. He did get into 13 minor league games late in 2022 but didn’t get the call up to LA. Now entering a new season, there’s renewed hope for the 27-year-old hurler.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts talked about Victor on Thursday at Camelback Ranch, sharing some positive news on the bullpen piece.

“Victor looks good. Victor’s had a great offseason. His body looks as good as I’ve seen it. Last year was a difficult year for him. Coming back and being healthy, not being healthy, not pitching for us. And so, he’s hungry and the way he’s throwing the baseball is as good as I’ve seen it. The command, the velocity’s there. And the slider, getting that slider to the glove side has been good to see so far. And there’s also a changeup in there. So Victor is gonna be, I wouldn’t say a surprise, but I just think that this is going to be a good year for him.”

2021 wasn’t exactly a bad season for Gonzalez (44 games, 3.57 ERA, 33 strikeouts) but he walked a lot of batters (19) over 35.1 innings leading to an unsightly 1.443 WHIP on the season. However, he was dominant in the shortened 2020 season, posting a 1.33 ERA over 20.1 innings while walking just 2 batters.

The key factor in Victor’s decline is seemingly health. While he did make it into those 44 games in 2021, he also spent time on the injured list while dealing with various nagging ailments. Over his first 33 games, he pitched to a 2.10 ERA. Over the next 11 games, that ERA jumped to 7.45 as a foot issue derailed his season.

If Gonzalez can return to form in 2023, it gives the Dodgers another dangerous weapon out of the bullpen. As it stands, the team has just Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson as the primary left-handed relief options heading into the season, so there’s some room for improvement.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

One Comment

  1. That’s all the lefties we have?! Ok… I am glad to hear Victor’s back, n with a change up thrown in. It’ll definitely help.
    Vesia is above avg somewhat, and Caleb about avg, but with a lil higher ceiling.

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