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2023 Dodgers in review: Tony Gonsolin

Gonsolin struggled to a 4.98 ERA in 20 starts

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

In a season where the Dodgers’ rotation was mired by injuries and inconsistency, Tony Gonsolin exemplified the struggles they faced.

Coming off of his first All-Star season in 2022, Gonsolin was slated to be in the middle of the rotation for the start of the season. He made one start in spring training, pitching 2⅓ scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels before suffering a left ankle sprain during workouts.

Gonsolin was placed on the injured list to begin the season, making his season debut on April 26 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the best team in the National League in the month of April. Gonsolin was limited to 3⅓ scoreless innings on 65 pitches, allowing just two hits while only striking out a single hitter and walking three.

The month of May resembled Gonsolin’s 2022 All-Star version, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.95 ERA in six starts. From May 8-19, Gonsolin did not allow a single run in 16 innings, striking out 15 in that span. Out of all starters in the rotation at the end of May, Gonsolin led the team with a 1.77 ERA on the season.

After his incredible start to the season, Gonsolin experienced the worst three-month stretch of his major league career. His first two starts in June were on par with his dominant stretch in May, allowing three earned runs in 11 innings while striking out 11. From his start on June 18 against the Giants until his final start of the season, Gonsolin posted a 4-4 record with a ghastly 7.51 ERA, with hitters averaging a .282/.350/.545 slash line and connecting 15 home runs off him.

August was a nightmare for Gonsolin, with the dagger to his season coming on August 18 against the Miami Marlins. Gonsolin imploded, allowing 10 runs and five home runs in an 11-3 loss. Gonsolin was abruptly placed on the injured list following the start with with right forearm inflammation before receiving the news that he would need Tommy John surgery, bringing an end to a disappointing season.

For the first time in his career, Gonsolin posted an ERA over 4.00, allowed more than 12 home runs in a single season, posted a FIP of over 5.00, a below-average ERA+, and a negative bWAR.

2023 particulars

Age: 29

Stats: 8-5, 4.98 ERA, 20 GS, 1.223 WHIP, 103 IP, 82 K, 40 BB, 87 ERA+, -0.2 rWAR, 0.3 fWAR

Salary: $3.25 million

Game of the year

The Dodgers hosted the Padres during Mother’s Day weekend in the first series at Dodger Stadium between the two teams since the 2022 NLDS. Gonsolin got the start in the Sunday series finale and baffled San Diego hitters through five innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out six, netting his first win of the season. After that start, Gonsolin lowered his season ERA to just 1.42.

Roster status

Gonsolin’s 20 starts in 2023 added $2 million to his base salary for 2024. He’ll earn $5.4 million in the second season of his two-year contract signed in January. Gonsolin is expected to miss all of 2024 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining after that.