The Los Angeles Dodgers have been without a full rotation for far too long, but that may soon come to an end with Tony Gonsolin returning and Clayton Kershaw eyeing a Monday return. The Dodgers have been wearing down the bullpen with two bullpen games per week since the injuries to the rotation. This makes it difficult for the relievers to be ready for extra innings. If a starting pitcher happens to not have his best stuff on the mound one day, he may have to take one for the team. This is not what the Dodgers had in mind when they began the season with a $300 million payroll. Imagine if Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers’ front office were unable to come up with a trade for Max Scherzer. The Dodgers may have had three bullpen games per week or could be using young and unproven arms.
Gonsolin and Kershaw Set to Return
Luckily for the Dodgers, Gonsolin is back and Kershaw is feeling good after his rehab appearance and plans to return to the starting rotation Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gonsolin’s stuff looked great during his start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. His pitches had a lot of movement on them. It had been five weeks since he last pitched and he was not looking so good in his previous outing. His previous outing was in Arizona when he pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on one hit and five walks with one strikeout. His right shoulder simply was not feeling good. He has had pain in his shoulder for a couple of months but seems to be healthy now. On Thursday against the Cardinals, Gonsolin gave up one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three in three innings.
Clayton Kershaw is reportedly feeling good after throwing three innings for triple-A Oklahoma City. He gave up a two-run home run and struck out three batters in three innings. He also gave up four hits. Kershaw has not pitched for the Dodgers since he gave up three runs on three hits and one walk in four innings against the Washington Nationals on July 3rd. That was nine weeks ago. The future Hall of Fame lefty has only 18 starts this season. He may have enough time for three or potentially four starts left in the season. This would allow him to ramp up his pitch count for the playoffs. But it will be a sight for sore eyes for Dodgers fans to see Kershaw back in Dodger blue.
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