After being defeated by the Washington Nationals in five games in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason facing a multitude of questions.
In addition to uncertainty, they also have been left with plenty of time as this offseason has been their longest since 2015. But for young pitcher Tony Gonsolin, this winter has actually been his shortest.
Gonsolin did not make the Dodgers’ NLDS roster, but he still pitched meaningful innings in the month of September for the first time in his career; Minor League seasons typically finish at the end of August.
Gonsolin recently discussed his offseason in an interview with David Vassegh on AM 570 LA Sports, and while a lot of his physical workouts have remained the same as years past, there’s been positive change with the mental component:
“So far it’s been decently similar in terms of strength and getting my muscles and all that physically ready for the season. I think mentally is like what you’re saying about being able to trust myself and know that I can compete [in the Majors], so the mental aspect has been a little easier.
“But now for me, it’s feeling that I can go into the season knowing I can compete up there and I can play and try to earn a spot and maintain a spot throughout the season rather than having up and downs and all that stuff. This offseason has been pretty similar but also a little different in those aspects.”
Gonsolin was the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018 and followed that up with another solid season last year. He made his MLB debut at the end of June and in 11 appearances (six starts) at the big league level, went 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 1.03 WHIP with 37 strikeouts and 15 walks in 40 innings.
After the losses of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill in free agency, Gonsolin could find himself competing for a spot in the starting rotation in Spring Training. His versatility and ability to pitch out of the bullpen should land him a spot on the Opening Day roster as a long reliever, at the very least.
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