LOS ANGELES — It’s always hard to plan too far ahead for pitching, because the volatility of the position and at times the roster. For the Dodgers this week, everything beyond this current series against the White Sox hasn’t yet been determined.
The Dodgers will already have to fill one rotation slot this weekend against the Giants, the slot left vacant when Julio Urías suffered a setback in his hamstring strain last week and was not activated as plan to start against the Phillies.
Urías threw off flat ground in the outfield at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, with his next time pitching off a mound to be determined.
The Dodgers are also waiting to see how Tony Gonsolin responds after his Tuesday night start against the White Sox. He’d be in line to start Sunday on four days rest, but that was the case last week too and the Dodgers opted against using Gonsolin because he’s had trouble recently recovering in between starts.
“Early when he came back [off the injured list], after he was kind of with the governor on of three innings, four innings, five innings, I just saw a little bit more consistent velocity,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The last couple, he’s tried to hold back some, getting into innings, then reaching back when he needs it. When Tony’s at his best, it’s 93-95 every pitch.”
Gonsolin’s four-seam fastball averaged 92 mph in his May 30 start, then 91.7 mph last Tuesday in Cincinnati. In his previous four starts, Gonsolin averaged between 92.9 and 93.6 mph on the pitch. Last season, Gonsolin averaged 93.1 mph on his fastball.
Roberts said he didn’t think Gonsolin was guarding against an injury.
“I think sometimes it just takes him a little bit longer to get back into the inning,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers left open the possibility of not pitching Gonsolin on Sunday, like they did last week, but after his six strong innings Tuesday, Roberts said after the game Gonsolin would indeed start the series finale against the Giants, on four days rest.
Bobby Miller is in line for Friday, but his next start could switch days depending on how the bullpen is used. They might start Miller on Saturday instead.
Roberts did say they wouldn’t use two bullpen games over the weekend, and that the continued use of bullpen games is unlikely. So expect a pitcher to get called up to start or pitch bulk innings this weekend.
“I think we all agree it’s not sustainable, and we expect Julio back at some point,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to do the best on that day, the best we can to prevent runs.”
Right-hander Shelby Miller, who has been on the bereavement list since Saturday, is expected to be activated Wednesday. He leads the Dodgers with 10 appearances of pitching in multiple innings this season, so he should be able to provide some length, when they need it.