LOS ANGELES – Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin has been missing the remainder of the season. His absence is now expected to extend until the end of 2024 as well.
The Dodgers announced Monday that Jonsulin will need Tommy John surgery. The operation is scheduled to take place on Friday and will be performed by the team’s physician, Neil Al-Atrash.
“We knew he was dealing with elbow problems but there was a point where he felt he could play and get major league hitters out… until he couldn’t,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “In talking with the doctors, we felt it was time to do, I think, what was inevitable at some point.”
Gursulin, 29, was placed on the casualty list on August 19 due to what was diagnosed as a right forearm infection. He was also placed on the injured list late last season due to a right forearm strain. He started this season at IL with a sprained left ankle and had a tough ride in 2023.
Jonsulin was 8-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 20 starts and had been dealing with arm soreness long before he went to IL. Roberts was asked if continued use during discomfort led directly to the need for surgery.
“He felt he could keep playing and, to be completely honest, he could still play now,” said Roberts. “But it just wasn’t productive. With all the shooters, I suppose there’s always some damage or tear. Some guys can step right through it, which Tony did.
“Nothing the MRI showed after his last start was worse than what caused Tommy John. And that was something he had in mind. We thought (Tommy John’s surgery) was a possible (outcome) from mid-season.”
Jonsulin’s last outing was the worst of his career. He gave up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings pitched on August 18 against the Marlins.
Gonsolin earned $500,000 in bonuses for his 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th starts this season and was awaiting an additional $500,000 in bonuses for his 24th and 28th starts.
“I think that was the impetus for the promotion,” said Roberts. “I can sympathize and understand that, from the player’s point of view. And I still think if we had stopped that operation months ago, he would have been in the same position to operate on Tommy John. It was one of those things where we had a real honest conversation with Tony.
Jonsulin was named to the National League’s first All-Star team last season after going 11-0 in the first inning with a 2.02 ERA in 17 starts. He finished last season 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 24 starts and a career-high 130 1/3 innings pitched.
Right-hander Ryan Pepiot appears to be in line to get into the starting rotation all the way up the stretch, with fellow right-hander Gavin Stone making a case to be included. Stone went to a solid six innings as a big reliever against the Red Sox on Sunday.
Pepiot appeared poised to start the season in the Dodgers’ rotation due to a sprained Gonsolin’s ankle before landing IL himself with a slash injury. Pepiot returned to the mound in July and returned to the Dodgers earlier this month, posting a 2.00 ERA in two relief innings (nine innings).
Pepiot was returned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday but could return soon. Stone was sent off Monday when right-hander Tyson Miller was added to the active roster.