Dodgers Place Tony Gonsolin On IL With Forearm Strain

The Dodgers announced that they have placed right-hander Tony Gonsolin on the 15-day injured list due to a right forearm strain. Fellow righty Michael Grove has been recalled to take his place on the active roster. Gonsolin was set to start tonight’s game against the Marlins but Grove will now take the mound instead.

It is always somewhat alarming when a pitcher is diagnosed with an injury to their throwing arm, but it’s especially worrisome in the case due to Gonsolin’s excellent season, the short amount of time remaining in the season and the club’s injuries elsewhere.

The 28-year-old hurler had pitched for the Dodgers in each of the previous three seasons in a swingman capacity, pitching out of the rotation but also out of the bullpen. He pitched very well in those seasons but was often squeezed out of a permanent rotation job due to the tendency of the Dodgers to keep excess starting pitching on hand. This year, Gonsolin grabbed a spot in the rotation and ran away with it, registering an incredible 2.10 ERA through 23 starts and a career-high 128 1/3 innings. That elite level of run prevention probably wasn’t totally sustainable given his .201 batting average on balls in play, well below the .290 league average. However, he’s in the 77th percentile in the league in terms of missing barrels and the 74th percentile in terms of limiting hard contact, meaning he could probably be expected to keep his BABIP below league average, even with some regression.

Caveats aside, there’s no denying that Gonsolin is having an excellent season, which has been huge for the Dodgers. The club has been without Dustin May until very recently, weathered extended absences to Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney, and lost Walker Buehler in June, with Buehler eventually requiring Tommy John surgery. Despite all of those ailments, the club has an incredible 88-38 record, the best in baseball, thanks in no small part to Gonsolin stepping up and excelling in the rotation.

Forearm strains are often the first listed injury in what eventually leads to Tommy John surgery, meaning it’s understandable if some fans are now dreading that worst-case scenario. However, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times tweets that the team believes they caught this issue early enough that they can have Gonsolin back on the mound this season. That would surely be a much more welcome path forward, though it remains to be seen if the club is correct in that assessment.

There are just over five weeks remaining on the regular season schedule, though the Dodgers are almost guaranteed to receive a bye past the first round of the playoffs. This season’s 12-team postseason format allows the top two division winners in each league to skip the first round. The Dodgers are currently 7 1/2 games ahead of the NL East-leading Mets and 15 games ahead of the Central-leading Cardinals.

Even without Gonsolin, the rotation should be in good shape, with Kershaw expected to return from the IL this week. He will join a rotation that also features Heaney, May, Julio Urias and Tyler Anderson. Anderson’s 2.69 ERA on the year is actually the highest of that group, though some of them have done that in small samples due to injury absences. With Gonsolin now out for at least a few weeks, the depth will be a bit thinner until he can return. Grove’s appearance tonight will be just his third MLB game of the year, though he has a 3.48 ERA in the minors for the season. Ryan Pepiot has made seven starts for the Dodgers this year with a 4.02 ERA and could be an option if needed. He just threw five Triple-A innings on Saturday, however, which likely ruled him out of taking the ball today.

Published at Mon, 29 Aug 2022 18:20:09 +0000