Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin made his first minor league rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday afternoon, hurling three-plus innings and striking out seven batters in the process.
The right-hander finished the day with 57 pitches, including six of his seven strikeouts on his signature splitter. After walking the first batter in the fourth, he was pulled, but the start should still instill some confidence in Dodgers fans that the 28-year-old is coming along nicely in his injury recovery.
Gonsolin continues to work his way back from a left ankle sprain that he suffered during a fielding drill during Spring Training at Camelback Ranch on Mar. 6, according to SB Nation’s Eric Stephen.
He threw a few more pitches in the bullpen into the fifth inning, according to Oklahoma City broadcaster Alex Freedman, as he continues to build up his innings before joining the Dodgers’ staff.
“Gonsolin allowed a two-run home run to Isotopes right fielder Daniel Montano on a fastball in the second inning, coming two batters after issuing the first of two walks on the day,” wrote Stephen on Thursday. “That was the only hit against Gonsolin. Coco Montes, who walked to open the fourth inning against Gonsolin, was stranded.”
Overall, it was an encouraging start for Gonsolin, who impressed in his first competitive game action since Mar. 3. He also maxed out his fastball at 93 mph in the start.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Monday that the plan for Gonsolin was to get him through four innings in this game, and five more in another rehab start either next Tuesday or Wednesday, per Stephen.
If all goes well, Tony Gonsolin should join the Dodgers starting rotation in early May, possibly after just one more outing on the farm.