Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After a strong 2022 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers had high expectations for Tony Gonsolin heading into 2023, but it proved to be a challenging year.
Originally slated to be in the Opening Day rotation, Gonsolin sprained his left ankle in Spring Training and opened the year on the 15-day injured list.
Upon his return, Gonsolin was effective, throwing 32.1 innings with a 1.95 ERA in May. However, things started to fall off hard after that.
In June, Gonsolin had a 5.82 ERA in 21.2 innings, which was his lowest ERA in a month for the rest of the season. In the second half, he pitched 35.1 innings and totaled a 7.13 ERA.
The Dodgers first said Gonsolin was not recovering well between starts, but it was later revealed he was pitching through an elbow injury for roughly two months. The injury affected Gonsolin’s stuff and control as his fastball velocity significantly dropped.
The decision to continue pitching was mutual as Gonsolin had incentives in his contract for games started and the Dodgers’ rotation was already decimated by injuries.
It was also determined the injury would not worsen by continuing to pitch through it, and he was already at a place where missing the 2024 season was likely.
Gonsolin was ultimately shut down in late August after giving up 10 runs in 3.1 innings against the Miami Marlins. The 29-year-old finished the season 8-5 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 20 starts.
“I think he’s continued to gain the respect of the guys in the clubhouse and never made an excuse,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time. “Was it pain-free? Probably not. But I know as an organization we were very clear in knowing he was not going to hurt himself worse.
“We’re not going to do that to the player. We were all aligned and felt good about that. So I do complement Tony.”
Gonsolin ended up undergoing Tommy John surgery that is going to sideline him until 2025.
Tony Gonsolin 2023 highlight
Gonsolin had his best start of the season on June 13 against the Chicago White Sox when he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out six hitters.
It was one of four starts he made in 2023 where he went at least five innings without allowing an earned run.
As he recovers from Tommy John surgery, Gonsolin is going to spend the entire 2024 season rehabbing and will not pitch for the team.
He is already under contract for $5.4 million after signing a two-year extension prior to the 2023 season. He is also under contract for 2025-26 by way of arbitration before he can become a free agent in 2027.
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