The Dodgers pitching staff has taken another hit.
Right-hander Michael Grove was recalled to start the game.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, Gonsolin’s injury isn’t believed to be serious, and the team expects him to be able to return to action this season.
While it’s unclear exactly what triggered the forearm issue, the expectation is that the injury was caught early and will give the pitcher enough time to return before the playoffs start in mid-October.
Still, any missed time this late in the year presents uncertainty.
And with only five weeks remaining in the regular season, it puts what had been a breakout season for Gonsolin in a more precarious position down the stretch.
Though he months ago set a MLB career high for innings pitched this season, having tallied more than 128, Gonsolin had seemed to be holding up health-wise prior to Monday’s announcement.
His 2.10 ERA ranked first in the National League. His 16-1 record led the majors. And after battling shoulder problems last season, he repeatedly reiterated how healthy he had felt this season, having pitched at least six innings in 11 of his last 17 starts.
Gonsolin’s most recent outing was last Tuesday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, when he gave up one run while throwing 77 pitches over five innings.
With Clayton Kershaw set to return from a back injury on either Thursday or Friday, manager Dave Roberts said as recently as Sunday the team would use a six-man rotation for the next couple weeks — one that was supposed to include Gonsolin.
But now, as has happened so many times already to the Dodgers this season, their pitching plans are being altered again.
Already, the team has lost opening day starter Walker Buehler for the year to Tommy John surgery.
Dustin May only recently returned from his own Tommy John surgery. Kershaw has missed two months with a couple of back injuries. Andrew Heaney has been out for extended stretches with shoulder problems.
Then there is the bullpen, which will be without Daniel Hudson for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, and which is still waiting to see how many of their currently rehabilitating relievers — Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Victor González, Danny Duffy and Yency Almonte — will be able to contribute down the stretch.
The Dodgers will still have starting depth in Gonsolin’s absence, with a rotation of Julio Urías, Kershaw, May, Heaney and Tyler Anderson.
They’ve been able to overcome all their other blows so far, as well, entering Monday with the best team ERA in the majors.
Still, Gonsolin had been one of their breakout stars this year, on track to play a key role in the postseason.
Instead, he’s now become another question mark with the playoffs on the horizon, his strained forearm giving the Dodgers one more unknown to navigate over the final month of the season.