When the season began, Tony Gonsolin was quarantining in a hotel room after having received a positive coronavirus test during the run-up to summer camp.
As a result, the 26-year-old righthander got a late start, and when the season began he was still working out at the Dodgers’ alternate training site. Just a little over two months later, Gonsolin emerged as one of the club’s best pitchers, certain to pitch meaningful postseason innings.
“There’s no way to prove it, but I’m pretty sure I got like a false positive,” Gonsolin said. “I tested positive once (and) have not tested positive since then.”
Gonsolin made the most of his time in the big leagues. He posted a 2.31 ERA in 46.2 innings, striking out 46 and walking seven while allowing a 0.84 WHIP.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts commended the job Gonsolin did, along with the work of fellow rookie starter Dustin May and 24-year-old Julio Urias, especially in light of veteran David Price opting out of the season.
“They’ve gotten an opportunity to pitch valuable innings and grow as major league pitchers,” Roberts said. “That’s time that you can’t replace just going out there and trying to attack hitters.”
Gonsolin had shown signs of promise during his first taste of the big leagues last year but took a large step forward this year with the further development of a split-finger changeup that he says he began learning in spring 2017 from former big league reliever Joel Peralta.
Gonsolin, a ninth-round pick out of St. Mary’s in 2016, said he has incrementally improved his split-changeup by degrees since first learning the grip.
“This year I really put a lot of work in during spring training and during the quarantine time,” Gonsolin said, “to really hone in on how I want it to move and the grip and what the emphasis was behind it.”
The results have allowed Gonsolin to make up for his late start.
“I was just trying to go out there and do the best I could do with every opportunity I get,” he said. “I’ve kind of been saying that from the beginning and I truly believe that.”
— When the Dodgers traded righthander Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays at the Aug. 31 trade deadline, they received two players to be named. One of those players is righthander Kendall Williams, the 52nd pick overall in the 2019 draft. Williams, 20, had a 1.13 ERA in 16 innings in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last season and spent the final month of this summer in the Dodgers’ player pool at the alternate training site.
— When 33rd-round pick Zach McKinstry made his big league debut in September, he became the ninth member of the Dodgers’ 2016 draft class to play in the big leagues (for them or another team), starting with first-round pick Gavin Lux and including Will Smith, Mitch White and Tony Gonsolin.