How May Dodgers Substitute Tony Gonsolin In Rotation?

The Dodgers had been dealt some undesirable information final week when All-Star starter Tony Gonsolin rolled his left ankle throughout a pitcher-fielding observe session. He was identified with a sprain and unable to place a lot weight on the leg for a couple of days.

Supervisor Dave Roberts informed reporters yesterday that Gonsolin has once more began throwing (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). He’s progressed to lengthy toss from 120 ft however has but to return to the mound. With Opening Day two weeks out, it appears more and more possible he’ll require a stint on the 15-day injured listing.

If that proves the case, the Dodgers should add somebody to the season-opening rotation behind Julio UríasClayton KershawNoah Syndergaard and Dustin Could. Los Angeles doesn’t have the posh some golf equipment do of many built-in off days early within the yr. They’re scheduled for video games in 13 of the primary 14 days and 24 of the preliminary 26 days of the common season. Until the membership needs to cowl some begins through bullpen video games, they’ll want a fifth starter if Gonsolin isn’t accessible.

Possible Entrance Runners

Ryan Pepiot, 25, two minor league choice years remaining

Pepiot appears the favourite for the job. He began seven of his first 9 large league video games final season, working to a 3.47 ERA over 36 1/3 innings. Pepiot struck out an above-average 26.3% of opponents however his 16.9% stroll charge was untenable for a participant hoping to stay in a rotation. He confirmed extra serviceable management within the minors, strolling 9.8% of batters confronted with a lofty 30.9% strikeout charge and a 2.56 ERA in 91 1/3 frames for Triple-A Oklahoma Metropolis.

A former third-round decide, Pepiot has developed into one of many higher pitching prospects within the sport. The Butler product has a wipeout changeup and plus spin on a fastball that averaged slightly below 94 MPH final season. Evaluators have expressed trepidation about his breaking ball and particularly the consistency of his strike-throwing. Nonetheless, he’s an intriguing younger pitcher with higher minors success who has proven an honest means to overlook bats early in his time on the large league degree. He’s not a completed product however might be able to offering the Dodgers with a couple of stable begins in a fill-in capability.

Michael Grove, 26, two choices remaining

A second-round decide within the 2018 draft, Grove overcame some early-career harm issues to succeed in the majors final yr. He began six of his first seven large league video games, posting a 4.60 ERA by 29 1/3 frames. That got here with a modest 18% strikeout charge and a whole lot of exhausting contact. The 6’3″ righty did a stable job throwing strikes, although, limiting walks to a roughly common 7.5% clip.

Like Pepiot, Grove had a stable 2022 marketing campaign in a hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League setting. He posted a 4.07 ERA in 59 2/3 Triple-A frames, fanning 26.7% of batters confronted towards an 8.2% stroll proportion. Grove held right-handed batters on the prime minor league degree to a .213/.266/.368 line over 263 plate appearances. Lefties, alternatively, teed off at a .279/.344/.541 clip in 192 journeys to the dish. It was an analogous story on the MLB degree. Righties hit .241/.293/.389 in his restricted look, whereas left-handers managed a .275/.333/.522 slash.

Grove doesn’t throw a changeup, counting on a fastball/slider/curveball mixture. Prospect evaluators have raised questions on his means to deal with left-handed hitters and not using a pitch that breaks away from them. That has led to concern about whether or not he can stick in an MLB rotation long run, although the Dodgers might match him up towards right-handed heavy groups like Colorado and the Cubs within the season’s first couple weeks.

Prime Prospects

Gavin Stone, 24, not but on 40-man roster

Stone fell to the fifth spherical within the 2020 draft. That now seems to be like a coup, because the Central Arkansas product is a prime 100 prospect on lists from Baseball America, FanGraphs, The Athletic and ESPN. He’s now the second-best pitching prospect within the group (extra on that in a minute) after an totally dominant minor league season. Throughout three ranges, he mixed for a 1.92 ERA with an elite 33.9% strikeout charge and serviceable 8.9% stroll proportion by 121 2/3 frames. That culminated in six Triple-A outings, through which he allowed solely six runs over 23 1/3 innings.

It now appears a matter of when, not if, Stone will make his large league debut this season. Evaluators credit score the 6’1″ righty with a mid-90s fastball and among the finest changeups within the minor leagues and counsel he might be a mid-rotation arm within the close to future. He doesn’t have a ton of Triple-A expertise and isn’t but on the 40-man, so probably the most easy transfer can be to ship him again to Oklahoma Metropolis to open the season. Given his minor league dominance, there’s at the least an argument for plugging him in above Pepiot and Grove instantly, even when it’d require a 40-man roster transfer to take action.

Bobby Miller, 23, not but on 40-man roster

The Dodgers’ first-round decide in that ’20 draft class, Miller has shot by the minor league ranks and now ranks among the many finest prospects within the sport. The Louisville product had a 4.45 ERA over 20 outings for Double-A Tulsa final season. That’s not probably the most spectacular mark nevertheless it appears the product of an unfortunate 62.5% strand charge. Miller struck out a superb 30.5% of opponents, induced grounders at a top quality 48.2% clip, and stored his walks to an 8.1% charge. He earned a late-season bump to Oklahoma Metropolis, the place he posted elite strikeout and ground-ball marks over 4 outings.

He’s now nearly universally thought to be the group’s finest pitching prospect and a prime 50 minor league expertise general. The righty attracts unanimous reward for an upper-90s fastball, a pair of energy breaking pitches, and a sophisticated changeup. Miller’s command continues to be a piece in progress however there’s little query the arsenal can play towards main league hitters.

Miller doesn’t determine to be an choice for the season-opening rotation. Roberts informed reporters final week he was being constructed up slowly to observe his workload and was unlikely to pitch in a Spring Coaching recreation (relayed by Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times). He’ll nearly actually be within the majors in some unspecified time in the future in 2023 although.

Additional Down Depth Chart

Andre Jackson, 26, one choice remaining

Jackson has by no means began a giant league recreation, popping out of the bullpen for all seven of his MLB appearances from 2021-22. The Utah product has labored as a starter within the minors, opening 19 of 21 outings with Oklahoma Metropolis final yr. He allowed precisely 5 earned runs per 9 innings in Triple-A. Jackson had first rate sufficient strikeout and ground-ball numbers however walked an astronomical 17.2% of opposing hitters.

That’d put him behind Pepiot and Grove on the depth chart. Jackson is on the 40-man roster, although, seemingly giving him a leg up in comparison with the non-roster invitees in camp. He’s headed into what can be his ultimate choice yr, so he’ll want to enhance his management earlier than lengthy if he’s to earn an prolonged MLB look in Los Angeles.

Dylan Covey/Robbie Erlin

Each Covey and Erlin have some large league expertise and are in camp as non-roster veterans. The 32-year-old Erlin was hit exhausting in 77 innings with Oklahoma Metropolis final season. Covey, 31, returned stateside after a pair stable years in Taiwan’s prime league. Covey, particularly, has gotten out to a very good begin in camp. He’s struck out eight with out issuing a stroll over six innings. Nonetheless, neither appears more likely to leapfrog the youthful arms within the group for a season-opening rotation look.

Nick Nastrini/Landon Knack

Nastrini and Knack are each pretty current school draftees who reached Double-A final season. They’re every among the many mid-tier prospects in a powerful L.A. system and flashed bat-missing potential with Tulsa. Each pitchers might ultimately get an MLB look, although neither figures to be in consideration for a job out of camp. They’re not but on the 40-man and have but to succeed in Triple-A.


The Dodgers once more have a couple of thrilling pitching prospects, two of whom have already gotten a style of the majors. Pepiot and Grove would accordingly be the most secure decisions to take the ultimate rotation spot if Gonsolin can’t begin the season however they’re not as touted as Miller and Stone. The latter two determine to take the Dodger Stadium mound in some unspecified time in the future in 2023, the following in an extended line of pitching expertise to return by the system.