With all the chatter lately about the playoffs and the Dodgers, you’d never know that the beginning of the 2019 NLDS is more than four weeks away.
Yet, with the way the standings and the remainder of the regular season schedule are playing out, there’s not much else to talk about, aside from which players are hot and who’s not at the moment.
As far as the playoffs go, one thing we briefly touched upon last week was the potential return of veteran starter Rich Hill. Both Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman have already stated there’s a good possibility that the lefty has plenty of time to stretch out his arm before the beginning of the postseason, conceivably allowing him to contribute as the fourth starter in the playoffs, whenever the club should need him.
But, what happens if Hill isn’t ready?
Three possibilities exist—Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Kenta Maeda. There could be more if you throw Ross Stripling or Julio Urias into the equation, but it appears that the team has no intentions of sliding either Strip or Julio into roles that will permit them to stretch themselves out properly.
The Dodgers seem content on moving Maeda back into a relief role once the playoffs commence, if not before. Roberts went on record more than two weeks ago saying that “there’s a good chance” Kenta will contribute as a reliever in the postseason, similar to what he has done in years past.
On top of that, the way Gonsolin has been throwing, a relief role could be his best chance of contributing to the team in the playoffs. Like Maeda, Gonsolin has been lights out lately the first few times through the opposition’s order. After that, he has a tendency to fatigue or become ineffective during the middle innings.
In Friday night’s game against the Diamondbacks, Gonsolin threw extremely well through five innings—he didn’t even surrender a hit until the fourth frame. In the sixth, going deeper and deeper into counts, it appeared as if he ran out of gas completely when two runs crossed the plate even before an out was recorded.
Similarly, in his August 24 start, Gonsolin did not allow the Yankees to get on the board until the fourth inning when Aaron Judge crushed a ball over the center field wall.
The same occurred against the Braves on August 18—he was lights out until a Matt Joyce single and an Adeiny Hechavarria double plated Atlanta’s first run in the fourth inning.
Before his MLB debut in June, multiple times we spoke about Gonsolin’s propensity for success out of the bullpen.
“He’s another one of those pitchers who could conceivably have more value as a reliever down the road, but management is still grooming him as a starter to maximize his worth. During his career, the righty has touched triple digits multiple times, but those cases occurred when he was throwing in relief. In a starting role, his four-seam usually settles into the 94-97 MPH range.
“It just might be Gonsolin’s diverse repertoire that keeps him in line as a starting pitcher, so long as he can maintain his command.”
According to MLB Pipeline‘s scouting report, “Gonsolin’s upper-80s splitter devastates hitters with the way it dives at the plate, and his low-80s curveball has become a consistent plus offering with nice shape. He also uses a mid-80s slider to give hitters a different look.”
Still, that doesn’t mean that he won’t have success as a starter—even in the 2019 playoffs. Anything can happen, especially if there’s a holdup in Hill’s rehabilitation.
Nonetheless, that leaves May, who had a rough outing in his initial appearance as a reliever against the Braves in that same August 18 game, still in the picture as a possible playoff starter.
While there’s definitely plenty of time over the next month to sort out all the possibilities, each performance by Maeda, Gonsolin, May and even Hill will count towards determining their roles for the upcoming postseason.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we plan to start a discussion surrounding the prospective foundations of a playoff bullpen.
14 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: Will Tony Gonsolin Play a Role in 2019 Postseason?”
Please someone help me I really like Gonsolin&May our bullpen is disaster if we had a good pen we would have put the division to bed
Gonsolin has bullpen experience as May does not why would you pitch May as a reliever and Gonsolin as a starter. Please someone explain to me!!!!!!!!
They are both starters Larry. It would appear we may need them to do that before it’s all said and done. The post season bullpen is yet to be determined and the Division will be put to sleep very soon.
I think both those guys would be good bullpens pieces. Gonsolin May be better suited for it. (see what I did there)
Good news. Verdugo is going to Ogden in the rookie league and will be there for about a week and is expected to rejoin the Dodgers possible next weekend.
Kershaw with an 87 mph nothing ball right over the middle of the plate, then a hanging curve. He’s just not the same guy. He battles, but makes a lot of mistakes.
Where is everyone?
“I can’t even remember yesterday”. Clayton Kershaw.
I can. Anybody want to talk about it?
-Chase Field is a den of horrors for Kersh. Some of his worst outings have come there. He is 6-9 over his career there with an ERA above 4. Besides Coors Field and of course, Dodger Stadium, it is the only place he has given up double digit homers in his career. 14. He has given up 19 at Coors. In his last 2 games Kersh has given up 9 hits, and 5 of them were out of the park. Couple that with Ryu’s slide and Maeda’s barely over .500 work. You have the funk they have been in now for close to 2 weeks. And it all started in Atlanta. May has been a 5 inning guy. He has a lot of tools, but is far from a finished product. I think right now Gonsolin is the better of the two. The BP cost him his third win the other day, but what else is new. My assessment right now is that this is no where near a championship bullpen and the Dodger fans will witness another melt down in the playoffs. After Gas Can Jansen gave up the homer, I was madder than I have been in quite a while. He had one job, keep it at 1 run and he could not do that. Lately he has failed a lot more than he has delivered. I turned the channel and watched USC-Fresno State. More exciting than watching another game thrown away by continuous bad baseball being played. You get a guy like Ray on the ropes, it behooves you to deliver the knock out blow. Another slump at the end of August. Shades of 2017.
One other point I should make is that I am very sick and tired of watching these guys take pitches right down the pipe and then swing at balls they could not hit with a telephone pole. Jansen has totally lost his confidence. Pederson is plodding his way to another so so season. If they guy would have ever learned to hit for average, he could have been something special with all that natural power he has. I can’t wait for Verdugo to get back into games. The guy plays with his hair on fire. Stripling starting today’s game and Freese will be back in the lineup. The rest of the call ups will be coming during the week since the AAA schedule ends Monday. I really hope they bring up Lux. I would like to see what he can do in real MLB games.
I watched Oregon give it away, then USC looked beatable at home against Fresno. PAC 8-10-12 just isn’t that good at football anymore.
I wasn’t aware of Kershaw’s crap stats at Chase. I’ve seen him pitch there before. He looked good the day I was there. Of course, that was when he was winning Cy’s. Those days are behind him. As are Jansen’s superb years. Hopefully getting everybody back and tuned up will allow us to out score the better teams we will be facing. Our pitching doesn’t fill me with confidence, that’s for sure. Still time to rally of course.
If I remember right I watched a game a couple of years ago, maybe longer, where Kersh gave up 9 runs there at Chase. Strip looks good today. On August 31st in 1950 Gill Hodges hit 4 homers and a double against the Braves, on that date in 1959, Sandy Koufax tied Bob Feller by striking out 18 Giants. On September 1st, 1890, the Dodgers played the major leagues first ever triple-header against the Pirates. They won all 3 games. Did not realize today was OLD TIMERS day…..Freese and Martin go yard. Martin’s sets the record for team HR’s at 236. Twins have a legitimate shot at 300. They have 269 as of yesterday.
Not really sure why it’s so important to wait until the end of the AAA schedule to call up Lux. They aren’t in the playoffs. On the other hand, maybe they’re taking their good time about it because they don’t want to put undue pressure on him and make it seem like he’s the one who has to lead them out of this funk they’re in.
I agree Jefe. Get him here. Maybe having that youtful energy will light some fires.
The only reason I can think of is that they want the team to end the season as a unit. Does not make much sense, but what do I know. By the way Scoop, I quit posting on that other site. I finally got fed up with a couple of the Negative Nancy’s over there and told them off. Not in very nice words either. Verlander no-hits the Jays today. Just a walk kept him from a perfect game.
You’re better off out of there. That tent should be folded.