Just weeks after the Dodgers lost its probable starting shortstop in Spring Training, now Los Angeles faces the prospect of being down a key arm from 2022. While Tony Gonsolin looks to have avoided a major injury, the Dodgers may need to re-align its plans for the starting rotation come the start of the 2023 campaign.
A Look at Gonsolin
In our projections for the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation for 2023, we mentioned how impressive of a season 2022 All-Star Tony Gonsolin had last year. Last season with the Dodgers, the St. Mary’s product went 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA, and 119 strikeouts over 130.1 IP. Gonsolin made great strides with his command, as he reduced his walk rate by almost eight percentage points and diced hitters up with a fastball/splitter/slider combination.
Gonsolin finished in the top seven of the league in ERA last year, but it’s questionable as to whether LA will have him for the start of the 2023 regular season. The 28-year-old may start 2023 on the IL thanks to an ankle injury, which Dave Roberts stated is not a fracture. That’s positive news to say the least, but a sprained ankle does complicate things for the Dodgers as Opening Day approaches.
What it Means
The hits keep on coming for the Dodgers, who lost infielder Gavin Lux to a torn ACL late last month. Now, Los Angeles will need to consider replacements for its rotation that is set to include Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Noah Syndergaard.
RHP Dustin May is an obvious option, but he was fighting for a spot in the rotation anyway. Thus far, May has had himself a decent spring — while he did walk three batters over his first 4.2 IP, May has struck out six and only allowed one just run. Outside of May, the two most notable candidates are youngster Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove. Both have had good springs, as each owns a 1.50 ERA in Cactus League Action. Pepiot has struck out nine over six innings, while Grove’s K’d five batters in the same amount of frames.
It’s more than likely that one of those two will get the call to start the season, if needed. If there’s one thing that the Dodgers have in its favor, it’s pitching depth.