A taxed pitching staff and injuries to a pair of starters has the Los Angeles Dodgers poised to start right-hander Tony Gonsolin on Friday night in the second game of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
Gonsolin, 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA last season, is in line to be added to the Dodgers’ active roster prior to the Friday contest. He faced the Diamondbacks in his major league debut last June, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits in four innings and taking the loss in an 8-2 Arizona victory.
The Dodgers are without three members of their rotation, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and David Price. Kershaw is moving closer to a return from a back injury that forced him to miss the season-opening start. Wood is on the 10-day injured list due to shoulder inflammation, and Price announced in early July that he was opting out of playing this season.
As a result, Los Angeles had to alter its rotation, and after using eight relievers in a 13-inning win at Houston on Wednesday and four in a 6-3 win over Arizona on Thursday, had to bolster its bullpen with roster moves.
Even so, manager Dave Roberts said pitching has been the strength of the team in the Dodgers’ 5-2 start. The team ERA is 2.15, third best in the majors entering Friday.
“We’ve really pitched well. That’s the thing that I’m probably most pleased with,” Roberts said. “Starting pitching. The ‘pen has really stood out. But we prepare every night to win a game, and preparation never wavers.”
Former Diamondbacks outfielder AJ Pollock is off to a hot start for the Dodgers, batting .471 (8-for-17) on the season. Meanwhile, former MVPs Mookie Betts (.206) and Cody Bellinger (.161) have yet to get rolling on offense.
The Diamondbacks have dropped three of their past four games and are hitting .196 as a team, the third-lowest team batting average in the majors.
“It’s going to happen in baseball,” Arizona outfielder David Peralta said. “We have to make adjustments, and we have to execute and do our job.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after the Thursday loss that he feeling frustrated with his team’s start to the season.
“After a week’s worth of games, I know that we’re a quality ballclub,” Lovullo said. “I watched that team through summer camp get the reps, get the swings, make the pitches and look like they were ready for a healthy start. And obviously it hasn’t gone that way. So there’s not a darn thing we can do about it right now. We know where we’re sitting and we know what we’ve got to do (Friday), and I think we’ll turn the page at some point here very soon.”
Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is set for his second start of the season. Gallen allowed one run on two hits and five walks in four innings with six strikeouts in his 2020 debut Sunday at San Diego.
Gallen is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in five career starts at Chase Field. All five of those starts came last season after he was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Diamondbacks on July 31.
–Field Level Media