News: Tony Gonsolin Returns as 5th Starter, Dodgers Ready For Pirates Series

Ever since 23-year-old flamethrower Dustin May was injured in early May — eventually having to undergo Tommy John surgery — the Dodgers have had to make due with a patchwork rotation of sorts. The four-man crew plus bullpen games to round things out worked to varied results.

While the team was able to win games with a heavy workload placed on its four regular starters — Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias — the bullpen games were sometimes adventurous, with large responsibilities placed on normal-depth relievers Alex Vesia and Edwin Uceta to name two.

Gonsolin is Dodgers’ Fifth Starter

Those times are over for Los Angeles, as manager Dave Roberts confirmed today that Tony Gonsolin will be the Dodgers’ fifth starter — taking May’s spot in the rotation — starting tomorrow in Pittsburgh. He showed no indication that he’d have Gonsolin on a strict pitch limit, as he gets set to make his first start of the season tomorrow.

“He’s built up to 75 pitches, so as of now he’s our fifth starter,” Roberts said in a press conference earlier today.

That’s a departure from what has seemed to be his past philosophy with younger pitchers coming off an injury, but this looks to be welcomed news for the Dodgers as they are beginning to get healthier.

Seager, a Quick Healer

While Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock, and Jimmy Nelson have returned recently, shortstop Corey Seager is making good progress in his rehab from a broken right hand, according to Roberts.

“It is quicker than I would’ve expected, and you’ve got a young body that certainly heals pretty quickly, and you’ve got an eager player so that kind of lends itself to that.”

He also said that Seager’s scan on his hand showed signs of healing, and he thinks that Seager will be able to take swings off a tee in the next couple of days. Although Roberts did not put a firm timetable on when Seager will take two-handed swings as part of his rehab, he says when that happens that he could be around two weeks from returning at that point. As of now, he is working on improving his rotation and is taking one-handed swings, so there are definitely encouraging signs that Seager will be back relatively quickly.

Batting Second: Max Muncy

As for Max Muncy, he’s batting second in the lineup tonight and playing first base after tweaking his ankle recently. Roberts said that Muncy will play tonight, be on the bench Wednesday, and play Thursday as they attempt to rest his ankle.

All in all, the Dodgers could be on the precipice of firing on all cylinders with a regular active roster sooner rather than later.

It remains to be seen how the Pittsburgh series goes, but how Gonsolin performs tomorrow evening is certainly a story to follow. With a deep roster, healthier team, and a normal rotation for the first time in a month, things are looking brighter for the Dodgers by the day.