For the first time in his big-league career, Tony Gonsolin will take the mound knowing what his role will be in his next start. A major-league starter.
He’s appeared in 15 games and has made 10 starts, but each and every time for Gonsolin, he exited the game with the unknown on when his next start would be. After the Dodgers traded Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays last week, Gonsolin knows that he now has a full-time role in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Every start he made, he’d be fighting for a chance to prove he was worthy of a spot. Now, he knows it’s his. Dave Roberts isn’t concerned at all that it will impact him mindset on the mound, and think that Gonsolin will be just as good now that he knows he has his role.
“I see that, but I don’t think we’ve had an intention where if they had a bad appearance that’ll change their role,” Roberts said to the media. “When you have a lot of pieces, that was more of the drive. There is more of a runway and clarity. I don’t like to think of it as lack of pressure. I like to think of it as the same mindset. We have a lot of good pitchers. roles are going to change.”
When asked if Gonsolin is a finished product, Roberts said that even Clayton Kershaw, arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the last decade, isn’t even a finished product yet, and every pitcher constantly has different things that they are working on.
“You’re always trying to get better learn hitters,” Roberts said. “As [the hitters] continue to learn you, you develop different pitches and sequences.”
News and notes
- Joe Kelly came out of his last bullpen session healthy. The next step for him is to throw to hitters on Monday. He’s continuing to build up the arm strength,” Roberts said. “The command wasn’t where it needs to me. Monday is going to be a big test because I expect the intensity to be ramped up.”
- Justin Turner is progressing, but there’s no update yet as to when we can see him return to the field. “Yesterday was a pretty good day,” Roberts said. “He took grounders on his knees and threw. He took swings in the cage. Did some moving around with the strength guys. Yesterday was better. It’s a day to day thing. When he feels like he’s ready to be activated he will be. I don’t know when thats going to be.”
- The Dodgers are currently 30-10, and have tied the franchise record for best 40-game stretch to begin the season. “Very pleased,” Roberts said when asked about the hot start for the team. “I think that overall, we’ve won games in a lot of different ways. Mainly pitching and defense. These last few days, really impressed with the team offense. Thats how you get across the finish line. The at bat quality needs to continue to stay where it’s at.”
- It’s been an unlucky season for Will Smith. He’s hitting only .228, but has an OPS of .936. If you’ve been watching his at-bats, it seems like every time he’s at the plate he’s absolutely scorching the ball off the bat, but they keep resulting in outs. However, things have begun to turn around for him, as he’s hitting .316 over his last six games.
“He’s one of the unluckiest hitters in the big leagues,” Roberts said. “I applaud him for not changing. A lot of times, young players start to change when they don’t get results. It speaks to his maturity that he hasn’t changed at all. He’s with Mookie as the best at bat quality from beginning of the season until now.”