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Tony Gonsolin will start Friday for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks

Victor Gonzalez added to the bullpen for Thursday’s game

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers will turn to Tony Gonsolin to start on Friday against the Diamondbacks, manager Dave Roberts said before Thursday’s series opener in Phoenix, Arizona.

Commercial air travel is discouraged, but not strictly prohibited by MLB’s operations manual, but Gonsolin was driven from Los Angeles to Phoenix, as the Dodgers plan to avoid non-chartered flights as a matter of safety. The only question is who was with Gonsolin on the trip from the alternate training site at USC.

A roster move will need to be made to recall Gonsolin before Friday’s game, and the corresponding move could depend on how many pitchers the Dodgers use on Thursday. Ross Stripling starts the series opener.

Dodgers relievers have pitched 31 innings in six games, and the club used eight relievers Wednesday, including Caleb Ferguson, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen on back-to-back days.

Dodgers/D-backs lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos D-backs
Pos Dodgers Pos D-backs
RF Betts 2B K.Marte (S)
1B Muncy (L) RF Calhoun (L)
3B Turner CF S.Marte
CF Bellinger (L) 3B Escobar (S)
LF Pollock 1B Walker
SS Taylor LF Peralta (L)
DH Seager (L) C Kelly
2B Hernández DH Lamb (L)
C Smith SS Ahmed
Ross Stripling vs. Robbie Ray on the mound

“We’ve been stressed a lot the last couple days with pitching, having short starts,” manager Dave Roberts said via conference call Thursday. “We might have to make roster changes, and that will obviously dictate who’s on our taxi.”

Victor Gonzalez was the only pitcher on the Dodgers’ three-man taxi squad at the moment, and he was recalled for Thursday’s game to join the taxed bullpen. Terrance Gore was designated for assignment.

That leaves two on the taxi squad that we know of, with catcher Rocky Gale and utility man Zach McKinstry, plus likely whoever came along with Gonsolin on the trip to Arizona.

Gonsolin reported to camp on July 8 after missing the first five workouts at Dodger Stadium for undisclosed reasons. He was optioned to USC on July 18, and it’s unknown how many innings he might pitch on Friday.

“I’m not gonna divulge,” Roberts said. “He’s able to a start.”

As for the rest of the weekend, Clayton Kershaw is throwing a bullpen session before Thursday’s game, and figures to start for the Dodgers either Sunday in Phoenix or Monday in San Diego. Starting Sunday would give Walker Buehler an extra day of rest in between starts. Roberts said the club hasn’t yet decided when Kershaw will start.

Arizona roster move

The Diamondbacks called up catcher Daulton Varsho before the series opener. He’s one of their top prospects, was Arizona’s minor league player of the year in 2019, and was a consensus top-100 prospect in MLB heading into this season. To make room for Varsho on the roster, infielder Kevin Cron was optioned to the team’s alternate training site.

Game info

Time: 6:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA