Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Talks 2020 Goals, Spring Training Outlook, and More
Undeniably, the Los Angeles Dodgers must have supreme confidence in pitchers like Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin. While the Dodgers didn’t make a move to acquire a starting pitcher (unless you count Jimmy Nelson), they boast a strong amount of young pitching depth with the ability to start or relieve.
At the forefront of those pitchers is one Tony “Smokes” Gonsolin. On Saturday at Los Angeles Dodgers Fanfest, Gonsolin took time out to answer some questions. You can see the whole video below, but read onward for some of his responses.
First, Gonsolin was asked about what he took from the 2019 season; and his goals for the upcoming 2020 season ahead.
“Last year was big on just being healthy. For me it’s just coming into Spring Training the best I can be. To stay healthy, and put myself in the best position to compete.”
Then, Gonsolin was asked about being a starting pitcher versus relieving. It sounds like Gonsolin would like to earn a spot in the starting rotation and has a starter’s mentality right now.
“I think it’s easier to just prepare to be a starting pitcher. To try to prepare to be ready for that amount of innings. But if I’m a reliever this year, I’m just as happy with that.”
However, no matter the role he ends up in; Gonsolin is thrilled with the opportunity to be in Los Angeles Dodgers camp in a few weeks and competing for a job in the rotation.
“It’s been really cool to know I am going into Spring Training with a chance to compete for a job in a big league camp. That will be just an incredible experience.”
Finally, Gonsolin says that his ability to get both left-handed and right-handed batters out as opposed to someone who is just a lefty-specialist could pose as an added advantage for his usage out of the bullpen.
Based just upon stuff, the sky could be the limit for Gonsolin in 2020. If you’re looking for a sleeper that could help the Dodgers reach the top of the mountain, look no further than Tony Smokes as a candidate with immense breakout potential.
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Gonsolin, May, and Urias will not have defined roles throughout the the 2020 season. They will all bounce between starts and relief appearances. Each will likely have stretches where they either start or releive, depending on how they perform. Roberts will struggle to limit their pitch counts while trying to give them some semblance of a routine. Buehler, Kershaw, Maeda (regular season only), and Wood (if effective and healthy) will be be the initial starting four. The Dodgers will use a floating 5 or 6 man rotation, with the rookies rotating into the final two spots. Give Nelson a shot, but don’t expect much. He’ll end up in the bullpen. The rookies will all be iffy for the postseason due to pitch count limitations.
I agree that’s probably how they will be used. All except for the post season, part of the reason in limiting their innings is so they will still be available, and ready, for Oct.