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Dodgers notes: Tony Gonsolin likely starts Wednesday, Will Smith still out

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Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Dodgers starting pitching staff has witnessed their fair share of injury struggles to open up the season, taking starters such as Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove out of action. Now it seems the Dodgers will be activating one of their strongest arms in Tony Gonsolin from the injured list ahead of Wednesday’s match against the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gonsolin rejoined the Dodgers in Chicago on Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts told reporters that the right-hander will likely slot into the rotation on Wednesday at PNC Park. From Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic:

Gonsolin, in all likelihood, will start for the Dodgers on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. He won’t be at full capacity, likely capped at about four innings. And the Dodgers have a top pitching prospect in Gavin Stone who certainly looked the part of being big-league ready during an impressive spring training display. But really, it wasn’t much of a decision at all. ‘He’s the best option right now,’ Roberts said of Gonsolin.

The 28-year-old Gonsolin has been one of the National League’s more underrated arms since the beginning of the 2021 season. Over that span he’s been limited to just 37 starts, however, he has impressed to the tune of a combined 20-2 record with a 2.47 ERA, a 1.016 WHIP and a 168 ERA+ in 186 innings of work. Gonsolin was the headliner for a star-studded Dodgers rotation last season that led the entire league in team ERA, WHIP, and opponent’s batting average, as opponents batted just .209 against Dodgers pitching.

Gonsolin was limited to less than three innings tossed in spring training as he suffered a left ankle sprain on March 6. The right-hander was placed on the injured list on opening day. Gonsolin made one minor league rehab start back on Thursday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and he dominated, striking out seven in three-plus innings, throwing 57 pitches.