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The Curious Case of Tony Gonsolin

First let me say that I am an avid Tony Gonsolin fan.  His first half of 2022 showcased some of the best pitching the Dodgers have seen in a long time, even better than Walker Buehler’s first half 2021.  But it may have come at a significant cost.

Tony has not been the same pitcher after July 7, 2022.  His last start before the All Star game against St. Louis (July 13, 2022) was a precursor as to what we were going to see from Tony the rest of the year that he actually pitched.  He pitched 5.0 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits.  This was by far his poorest start of 2022.

In 2021, Gonsolin only had 55.2 IP due to a shoulder inflammation.  In August 2022, Gonsolin went on the IL with a forearm strain.

In 2023, Gonsolin started the season on the IL due to a sprained ankle he suffered coming off the mound in a freak accident in ST.  Gonsolin has never been a pitcher who could go deep into a game, and 2023 is no exception.  In his 11 starts, he has pitched 6.0 innings only 3 times.  By comparison, Bobby Miller has 3 games at 6.0 IP in his 6 starts, and Emmet Sheehan has 6.0 IP in each of his 2 starts.

In 2022, in Gonsolin’s first 16 GS, he had 9 quality starts (QS), compared to his 3 in 2023 (11 GS).  Up to his July 7, 2022 start, Gonsolin had a 1.62 ERA, and a .157 BAA.  He allowed 6 HRs for April thru June.  He allowed 5 in July.  In his two starts following the All Star break, Gonsolin pitched 11.0 innings, allowing 7 runs (all earned) on 11 hits.  He seemed to be getting it back in August 2022 with 2 more QS, but his first start in September basically ended his season.  In his one playoff appearance, he was a ghost of himself against San Diego.

Tony Gonsolin’s pitch velocity has been decreasing all year.  He lost 0.8 MPH from his already decreased average velo on his 4-seamer and 0.9 MPH on his splitter in Sunday’s game.  Per Doc, Tony was not very sharp, and his pitches had no teeth.  He did not want him to face the top of the lineup a third time.

 

 

His 4-seamer averaged 91.4 on Sunday and his splitter averaged 81.9.  His last two starts have been a struggle.  What is the reason for the decrease in velo.  I am not that astute that I can tell from watching from TV if he is injured or tired arm, but I am also not naïve to believe it is by design.  Is it mechanical?  He has complained about not recovering  quickly enough and needing an extra day’s rest.  For Sunday, Tony had 6 days rest after his last start, and that did not seem to improve his production.  He did have a lot of soft contact, but he also could not get many whiffs.

A review of his Statcast page does provide a look as to how pedestrian Tony has been in 2023.

 

There is an awful lot of blue on those percentile rankings, and not very much red.

As long as he, the coaches, and medical/training staff believe his arm is fine, they need to keep throwing him out there. The Dodgers can still win when Gonsolin has a day like Sunday.  The team was 2-10 WRISP, while Houston was 5-13.  But Tony should not be considered a top of the rotation type pitcher right now.  I would feel more comfortable if he were the #4 SP going into the playoffs.  Or could he assume and thrive with the 2020 Julio Urías playoff role?

I would also guess that Gonsolin’s next two starts before the All Star break will have an impact on whatever decision the Dodgers brass may consider at the trade deadline.  He should have perhaps three more starts after the All Star break before the final day of the trade deadline.

Here’s to hoping that we get to see the first half 2022 version of Tony Gonsolin for the second half of 2023.

 

 

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Rob Schelling

LSU is also blessed to have Jay Johnson as it’s coach. I’m biased because he is a family friend and my son played with him at PLNU. He is one of the finest coaches on the college scene. LSU is building a dynasty. I couldn’t be more proud of him and it couldn’t happen to a nicer more deserving person! Geaux Tigers! 

Jeff

You’ve hit it on the head, “Tony has not been the same pitcher after July 7, 2022.” This is exactly what I’ve felt.

It seems our starting pitchers give up a lot of HRs.

Badger

Gonsolin. I still believe the fork ball will be his demise. If he can’t throw it hard with bite, he’s done. If he does it’s a matter of time before his tendon blows

In college sports I’m a conference guy. Once Stanford was out I was too.

Was perusing The Fielding Bible rankings this morning to see how bad our defense really is. 19th. Not as bad as I would’ve guessed. I think Rojas saves us from dropping into the 20’s. All field no hit middle infielder. Old school? I don’t know. The other two teams with better DRS at that position are the Cubs and Rays. Swanson and Franco. Not exactly the bottom of the order hitters Rojas is.

This feels like it could be a pivotal point in the Dodgers season. The schedule going into the All Star break is favorable. Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and 2 with the Angels. The dbacks and giants schedule is only marginally tougher.

I still think if there’s starting pitching available we should get it.

Bumsrap

Bieber, Giolito, or someone else?

Bumsrap

In a heartbeat.

Bumsrap

Muncy for Torres but not for Donaldson.

Bumsrap

I always thought Gleyber would play third in he were obtained for Muncy but initially he might be used to give Vargas a break before moving to third. Busch has been looking like he can defend third though.

Singing the Blue

Glad to see you have some sort of limits, Fred. You’ve drawn the line at Donaldson. Bravo!
I could definitely see Max in pinstripes before his career is finished.

And could you explain to me again please, why you think Torres is a better option than Max? Max’s stats are better than Gleyber’s in every area except batting average and age, both this year and career wise.

Bumsrap

Muncy
Last 7 games: .077 .200 .115 .315
Last 15 games: .140 .234 .351 .585
Last 30 games: .161 .254 .357 .611

April: .257 .441 .743 1.184
May: .186 .273 .402 .675
June: .094 .237 .219 .456

2023 Season: .191 .323. .474 .797

2023 season vs. lefties: .141 .253 .375 .628

wrisp: .180 .386 .475 .861 with 20 walks (thank you April)

Last edited 8 months ago by Bumsrap
Bumsrap

Gleyber 2023

April: .242 .352 .396 .748
May: .286 .331 .454 .785
June: .183 .256 .352 .608

Versus lefties: .174 .310 .391 .701

wrisp: .291 .382 .527 .909 with 10 walks

Badger

.797 is a lot of OPS for a guy hitting under .200.

I still see him as a DH. Just focus on hitting. ALL those numbers would improve.

Bumsrap

Is there another April in Muncy?

Badger

I hope he springs forward in the Fall.

Or, maybe more better, start before it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
Jeff

Yes.

Singing the Blue

Hah! Who would have thought they we would be more concerned about the Oriole and Ranger series than the Mets and Jays.

It’s an upside down year in MLB and that’s probably a good thing (except for us Dodger fans).

Badger

It’s just a gut feeling but I think if they take care of business going into the break, the long rest will allow them to come out smokin. If they stumble against those inferior teams, ownership will have questions and start making plans.

I’m speaking as a fan. Management probably already knows what they want to do and plans are nearly complete for it.

Singing the Blue

You realize that every year we play some of our worst baseball against those “inferior” teams.

Maybe Doc needs to be referring to them as “superior” in pre-game talks.

Singing the Blue

As well you should. Payton Martin is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Badger

Can Ryan help us win this year?

Badger

Relief would be fine. Could be a long, hot summer. We may need arms.

Oldbear48

Nice game by Kersh tonight. 2 bombs by JD. 1st 3 in the order 1-12 though. 2 hits for Outman, including one off of a lefty. Same old Muncy, walk and a k.

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