Gonsolin and Price Become X-Factors for Dodgers after May’s UCL Injuryby Ben Fadden May 3, 2021 0 comments
Dustin May will be undergoing Tommy John surgery after exiting his last start with elbow discomfort. He will miss the remainder of the 2021 season, which certainly tests the Dodgers’ starting pitching depth.
Los Angeles went into the season with the best rotation in baseball along with the deepest pitching staff in the league. It was so deep that David Price volunteered to be in the bullpen so Dave Roberts could put May and Julio Urias in the rotation.
But now Price and Tony Gonsolin are going to have to step up once they come off of the IL and fill May’s void as the fifth starter in the starting rotation, which means there is one less arm available out of the bullpen.
That won’t be a very easy task, as May was viewed by some as the Dodgers’ fourth or fifth ace behind Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Trevor Bauer. In 2021, May had a 2.74 ERA in his first five starts.
Price and Gonsolin’s Starting Experience
Price has more experience than Gonsolin has as a starter in the big leagues, as he is a former Cy Young award winner and was one of Boston’s key starters when they won the World Series in 2018.
Gonsolin, though, might get the first chance though as a starter because Price hasn’t been built up as a starting pitcher this season.
Price is currently in the bullpen and is pitching one or two-inning stints while Gonsolin has been at the alternate site most likely preparing as if he was a starter.
Gonsolin is in his age 27 season and hasn’t yet appeared in a big-league game for the Dodgers this season. In 2020 though, Gonsolin started eight of his nine games and pitched to a 2.31 ERA in 46.2 innings.
One big positive when Gonsolin pitches is that he doesn’t give up the long ball much (as he allowed just two home runs all of last season). That could come as a big asset to the Dodgers, especially when there are a lot of stacked lineups in the National League that hit a lot of home runs such as the Padres, Braves, and Mets.
If Gonsolin can give Los Angeles consistent starts where he goes five or six innings, then the Dodgers won’t feel like they’re missing May that much.
As for Price, he might still be in the bullpen in the next couple of weeks but could slowly transition back into being a starter if it is needed. If he were to be a starter, one thing to watch is how long he’d be able to go because he hasn’t been a starting pitcher in the Majors since 2019.
In case you don’t recall, Price opted out of the 2020 season, which would’ve been his first season in a Dodgers uniform. With that said, as I mentioned, Price has 15 years of big-league experience as a starting pitcher so he should be able to transition back into that role and hold the Dodgers afloat.
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