Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Talks Roles, Would Love to be a Closer One Day

Tony Gonsolin made his debut for the Dodgers in 2019 and, outside of one rough outing (his debut), he was better than advertised in his first go-round in the show.

The rookie right-hander appeared in 11 games last season — 6 starts, 5 out of the bullpen — and excelled in both roles. After spending his first two pro seasons in the ‘pen, Gonsolin showed the poise of a closer, even if he mostly pitched middle relief.

When asked about the potential of being the Dodgers closer of the future, the 25-year-old was more than open to the idea.


While also sharing his college pitching backstory, Tony talked about potentially being a closer… with a diplomatic approach.

Absolutely. At this point in my career, whatever role that presents itself I’m open and willing to try grab on and hold on — try to take advantage of every opportunity. Long run, that would be awesome to be a closer. It would be awesome to be a front-line starter, someone on the normal 5-day rotation. Anything that helps or like a high leverage bullpen guy.

Yes, smartly the man just wants a job in the bigs.

The Vacaville, California native turns 26 in a few weeks, so he may be feeling the pressure to latch onto any role and run with it — especially after manager Dave Roberts was less than clear about his 2020 role during spring training. But make no doubt that Gonsolin would excel in any role.

By the Numbers

As a starter in the bigs, he allowed 9 earned runs in 28 innings pitched (2.89 ERA). However, 4 of those runs came in his MLB debut where the Dodgers were in the midst of the Joc Pederson at first base experiment which, admittedly, did not give the infield defense a warm fuzzy feeling on throws to 1B.

Omit that debut outing, and Gonsolin’s ERA would be sitting pretty at 1.88. Of course, that’s not how things work.

Finally, in 5 relief outings, the righty allowed 4 earned runs in 12 innings (3.00 ERA), all of which were on him.

Put it all together and you have a guy that can get it done at the highest level of the game. But that idea of Gonsolin in the closer’s role — with that wipe out split-finger fastball — is just too appealing to pass up.

First thing’s first? Let’s get baseball back.

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Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of DodgersNation.com, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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