Dodgers @ D’backs June 26, 2019: Welcome to the Show, Tony Gonsolin

The Dodgers came back from a 2-run deficit on Tuesday night to take Game 2 of this 3-game series against the Diamondbacks. They’re sending out a rookie making his MLB debut in hopes of winning the series.

 
Dodgers
   
D’backs
 
12:40 p.m.
   
Phoenix, Ariz.
1B
Pederson  
CF
Dyson
CF
Verdugo  
RF
Locastro
LF
Beaty  
LF
Peralta
RF
Bellinger  
3B
Escobar
3B
Muncy  
1B
Lamb
SS
Taylor  
2B
Vargas
2B
Hernandez   SS Ahmed
C
Martin  
C
Joseph
P
Gonsolin (R)  
P
Clarke (R)

Tony Gonsolin, one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, gets the call for LA. I ranked him at No. 5 coming into the season. The 2016 9th-rounder out of St. Mary’s signed for just $2,500, so he might end up being one of the best value draft picks in Andrew Friedman’s tenure.

Gonsolin may have been up sooner in some capacity, but he missed about six weeks with an oblique injury in Oklahoma City. With the OKC Dodgers, Gonsolin had a 2.77 ERA, a 27.2 K% and an 11.4 BB% in eight starts (26 innings). After logging 128 innings last season, he wasn’t set to be on much of an innings restriction, so as long as he’s healthy, he should be good for a full workload the rest of the season — either in LA or Triple-A.

The reason for the call-up now is likely for the Dodgers to see what they have in Gonsolin. He’s been a starting pitcher the last couple seasons after beginning his pro career in the bullpen. If he’s to help the Dodgers this season, odds are it’ll be as a reliever rather than a starter. But, the Dodgers want to see what Gonsolin can do in the rotation — even if his stay might be short. Here’s what to expect from the hard-throwing right-hander.

“Gonsolin has a legitimate 4-pitch mix that has made it more likely he’s going to stick in the rotation rather than moving to the bullpen. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched 100 MPH, but that was in relief a couple seasons ago. His velo held deeper into his outings to the point where it’s the norm. He’s able to locate it all around the strike zone. He has three offspeed pitches, with his curveball being the one that misses bats the most. It’s a high-70s/low-80s pitch with a lot of depth. His mid-80s slider is thje “worst” of the four pitches, but it’s a different look than any of his other offerings, so I suspect he’d use it sparingly. His high-80s splitter/changeup combination has serious diving action that gets some swings and misses and generates weak contact. He’s becoming more and more comfortable with the pitch and will throw it in any count.”

Here are the future value grades I put on his offerings:

  • Fastball: 60
  • Curveball: 60
  • Slider: 50
  • Splitter 65

So, look for many bat-missing pitches in whatever role he’s thrown into. I’m excited to see what the 25-year-old can do against MLB pitching.

——

Here’s a couple bits of news from the minor-league side.

The Texas League All-Star Game was last night. Unsurprisingly, the two best Dodger prospects left in Tulsa were immediately promoted to Triple-A OKC. Lux, 21, probably could have begun the year there, but a half-season refresher in the Texas League obviously didn’t hurt anything. He’s hitting .313/.375/.521 in his second stint with Tulsa.

May also probably could have started the season in OKC, but there was a logjam of players ahead of him. Plus, he only made six regular-season starts for Tulsa last season. The 21-year-old has a 3.74 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 25.8 K% and a 6.0 BB%. He definitely earned his promotion. I don’t think he’ll make it to LA this season, but stranger things have happened.

This is a bummer but was also expected.

And the weekend rotation in Hell Coors Field.

Cool.

And last, but not least, a little trade rumor to whet your appetite for next month.

Doooooooooo ittttttttttt!

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.