In June, Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged it was plausible Tony Gonsolin or Dustin May would each make their MLB debut this season and potentially make an impact for the club out of the bullpen.
Gonsolin received a call-up nearly two weeks later, though for a spot start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. May then made his debut against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 2. All the while, both prospects have been mentioned as candidates to be included on the postseason roster as a relief pitcher.
To this point, each of May’s three games with the Dodgers have all been starts. However, that is due to change Sunday as he’s poised to pitch out of the bullpen.
As such, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Gonsolin is among the options the club is considering to start in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com
Sunday starter still undecided. Could be Gonsolin, could be bullpen game. May will pitch in relief. Urias will pitch tonight in relief.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 16, 2019
While the Dodgers are plenty capable of finishing out the season relying on their pitching depth, they face a more pressing decision when determining a fourth starter for the postseason. Rich Hill remains on the mend from a strained flexor tendon in his left forearm, and whether he will have ample time in September to build up as a starter is unclear.
Earlier this week, Roberts said there no longer appeared to be a possibility of Hill returning as a starter. However, Friedman more recently refused to rule out the chance.
Compared to May, Gonsolin has vastly more experience with pitching out of the bullpen due to being a converted starter. Meanwhile, May has only made five relief appearances since being selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Both young pitchers have appeared to become fatigue as they reached the later stages of their respective outings. That suggests the Dodgers may need to align one of them as an opener of sorts if Hill is unable to physically build back up to being able to complete a normal start.