Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Acknowledges Possibility Of Including Tony Gonsolin & Dustin May On 12-Man Pitching Staff For NLDS

The Los Angeles Dodgers have spent the better part of the second half of the season evaluating their options for a pitching staff come October and now are in the home stretch of making final decisions ahead of the National League Division Series.

An initial plan to set a starting rotation consisting of Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu is no longer the given it once was presumed to be. Although Hill is seemingly pitching through a second MCL strain, he figures to be more of an opener than full-fledge starter.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already intimated the club may very well take an unconventional approach for their Game 4 starter in the postseason. That figures to place more importance on the group of relievers selected to the active roster.

According to
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com
, Roberts acknowledged a scenario exists where the Dodgers will include Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May as part of the 12-man pitching staff for the NLDS:

Roberts said it’s possible both rookies Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin could make a postseason roster.

— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 28, 2019

Roberts repeated that he intends to have nine relievers plus starters Kershaw, Buehler and Ryu for the NLDS.

— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 28, 2019

As it stands, Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias are essential locks to be part of the Dodgers’ postseason bullpen. Joe Kelly once was included in that as well, but has been limited by an unspecified injury throughout September.

Roberts has nonetheless continued to maintain Kelly will be available for the start of the postseason.

Meanwhile, Gonsolin and May have been receiving opportunities to pitch in relief for several weeks. Amid some of the uncertainty with Kelly, May pitched in leverage situations during the San Diego Padres series. The back-to-back appearances marked a first for the rookie.

Gonsolin largely found immediate success with shifting to a role as a relief pitcher, whereas May has found his footing of late. But he doesn’t necessarily attribute that to becoming more familiar with coming out of the bullpen.

“I was pretty comfortable from the get-go, just execution wasn’t great,” May explained. “So I guess the more outings, the more execution is probably the best thing. I feel like I’ve done a decent enough job getting ready and getting prepared.”