Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, rookies who have had very different paths to the big leagues, are both coming together to form what looks like one of the Dodgers’ best playoff bullpens they have had in recent Octobers. This one is different from 2017 and 2018, but in a good way. Pure stuff, something that both May and Gonsolin possess, is what is being prioritized. It is no secret that ‘stuff’ plays up when it matters most.
Both rookies are more poised than the typical big league newcomer and it shows in their performance and their mound presence. According to a recent column by Pedro Moura of The Athletic, Big Red and Tony Smokes are locked and loaded for the playoffs.
"You’ve gotta let it rip from pitch one."
Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are learning the nuances of relief pitching, and they're thriving. @pedromoura writes that recent outings have the Dodgers feeling good about the rookies pitching in the playoffs.https://t.co/RFz2EqMZJc
— The Athletic LA (@TheAthleticLA) September 26, 2019
Dave Roberts on Dustin May
Dustin May started off his tenure as a big league reliever in rough fashion: four earned runs over two innings. However, he hasn’t allowed a run across his last six appearances with a bunch of strikeouts to boot. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is certainly noticing May’s rise to the occasion in recent weeks in his effort to make it to October:
“Dustin’s showing really well. The way he’s commanding the baseball, the swing and misses there, the intent, the conviction, all those things that I look for, are there.”
Roberts also continued to applaud May for his demeanor and poise that has been evident for awhile now. The way Roberts discusses May is in a way that implies May’s spot on the postseason roster is somewhat secure — a testament to May’s performance and strong will as of late.
“It’s also nice to see when he gets an out, his demeanor. He’s holding his composure and getting the next hitter. Early on, there was more excitement. As you look at, potentially, the postseason, every out is big. Tonight was the most consistent he’s thrown the baseball, and I thought that was really a positive.”
Russell Martin on May
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin also chimed in on May and seems to be as excited as anyone for the arrival of the October version of May.
“He was just overpowering guys. If he’s got that 99-mph fastball he had tonight, it’s gonna be a fun postseason.”
Tony Gonsolin Expressing Confidence
Gonsolin, 25, has eased in well to the big leagues and has been one of the Dodgers’ most consistent arms recently.
“They’re doing a a good job of saying, like yesterday for instance: ‘Hey, you’re available today, you’re probably gonna pitch. I think they’re trying to give me a slower transition from, ‘You’re available and throwing’, ‘You’re available but you’re probably not throwing,’ and then it’s gonna be just, ‘You’re available.’”
“I need to make the playoff roster first and then from there, I’m gonna be ready to pitch.”
Tony Gonsolin is more likely than not going to be on the playoff roster. Tony Smokes in October? That’s going to
Tony Gonsolin holds a 3.00 ERA on the season and a 2.31 ERA excluding his unlucky big league debut. Dustin May has not allowed a run in his last six appearances across eight innings. He has struck out eleven batters.
Locked and loaded indeed. Let’s hope the rookies can get us to the promised land and help deliver the first rings in 31 years.