Skip to main content

Disappointing: Dodgers Demote Tony Gonsolin, Recall Victor Gonzalez

Dodgers Demote Tony Gonsolin, Recall Victor Gonzalez

This one stings. The Dodgers recalled left-handed reliever Victor Gonzalez Wednesday and optioned starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin to their alternate site.

When I wrote in my column yesterday asking "Is Tony Gonsonlin Ready for a Rotation Spot," I meant it as a rhetorical question. I wasn't asking seriously, as if the club might take me up on it with the an emphatic negotory. Which is why I began the thing this way: "Tony Gonsolin's time has come. And the young replace the old. Or in the Dodgers' case, the less-young."

I noted that Ross Stripling and Alex Wood are at this point in time L.A.'s six and seventh best starters. That minus a blow up or at the very least a mediocre performance in his start at Dodger Stadium last night, that Gonsolin pretty much had a job won. Instead of mediocre, the 26-year-old right-hander was brilliant. Not kinda sorta middling or acceptable, but brilliant. He allowed two hits, no runs, struck out three and left after six innings and 84 pitches with his season-long ERA stuck at the 0.00 mark  The Mariners weren't touching the man, and he could have started the seventh and gotten an out or two more without incident.  

Instead, skipper Dave Roberts lifted him and as if on cue, reliever Jake McGee blew the lead after walking the first man he faced. And I tweeted the following;

And this:

And admittedly, this is harsh.

Look, I do feel as though the team's management deserves the benefit of the doubt generally, I absolutely believe they know what they're doing and they're good at what they do. I believe that they've put together their best bullpen in years. And if it's not completely obvious, I hold them in high esteem for the way the player development side has continued to introduce hot prospect after hot prospect after hot prospect.

[Follow Sports Illustrated’s Inside the Dodgers on Twitter.]

But 32 years is just too long between championships. And time is short, especially in 2020. Dustin May needs all the innings he can get, and it appears he is going to get them. Gonsolin needs his innings too. He's earned them. But more importantly, the way he's pitching now, there ought to be some consideration into his inclusion in the playoff rotation. And in order for him to thrive there and then, he needs the work here and now. Not facing Luke Raley at USC.

Los Angeles sports a 16-man pitching staff this afternoon, with five starters and 11 relievers. I don't believe they need another left-hander in Gonzalez as much as they need Gonsolin. Yes, what I'm suggesting is a six-man rotation, but not if you send Ross Stripling to the pen. For now. Or, why not just continue to employ a six-man, as they were doing through last night, for another turn through?

I suppose that's a rhetorical question too, not to be answered just yet. I leave you with this: 

Gonsolin has made three spot starts in 2020 -- and if you don't know that a spot start is a harder thing to succeed doing than taking the ball every five days; well, it is -- and his numbers are these: 14 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB and 12 Ks, with 0.00 ERA and a 0.545 WHIP, which I understand it pretty good! 

Lifetime as a Dodger, he's tossed 54 2/3 with all of 32 hits and 13 earned runs allowed, with 49 strikeouts, a 2.14 and 0.898. Which I understand is pretty damn good!

So yeah, let's have him skip at least one turn, continue with the spot start thing, continue to give lesser starters the ball and call up yet another left-hander when you already have three in the bully.

And remember, glove conquers all.

Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.