By Pedro Maura
Fox Sports MLB Author
The first half of 2022 reflects the scope of, in great detail Los Angeles Dodgers‘Profits from their National League colleagues.
With more than half the distance this season, their running distance is twice that of their rivals. The only team anywhere near them is, of course, the New York Yankees, who are running away from the most talented class in the sport.
Part of the story is that the biggest surprise of last season was the fall of the San Francisco Giants. They are now sitting behind the Dodgers to make an almost unimaginable comeback in the second half of the National League West. Padres, eight games behind Sunday’s game, is in danger of welcoming Fernando Tatis Jr. But the Dodgers don’t have to scare the veterans a year ago.
A big part of the Dodgers story, in the absence of the expected Ace Walker boiler and others, is the sudden development of some unexpected pitchers top-rotation quality starters. The Dodgers have long praised Tony Gonsolin. They found him when he arrived in 2015 and gave him the opportunity to start his professional career on the spot, which made him more important than any other team.
He was an outfielder then and only a part-time reliever. He saw his athleticism and ability in the early days, but still did not see him as an early pitcher who could work consistently in the sport.
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Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin tells Ben Verlander how he came back from a shoulder injury in 2021, what he did in the 2022 season, his mentality on the mound and how Dave Roberts helped his mentality.
It has been modified as needed this season. Since Clayton Kershaw’s injury in mid-May, Gonsen has averaged 90 pitches and played more than six innings in his 10 starts. Not once in 2021 did the Dodgers allow him to reach that pitch number. Not once in 2020 did he let them cross the number of innings.
At 28, Gonsolin has become the kind of pitcher who can start a game season after season – and not as an opener, as he did in 2020. This reflects his 11-0 record and 1.62 ERA. Gonsolin started the season split with a rare piggyback arrangement with left-hander Tyler Anderson. He also died of his injuries.
Anderson himself is a solid starter, almost all-star-caliber. If he joins the Dodgers’ fourth starter in the National League Division Series, he should have no problem. Anderson is an experienced traveler who signed after St. Patrick’s Day.
This is an unconventional, unexpected kind of success that the Dodgers are experiencing in 2022.
Thus consider their position. Gonsolin, Anderson, Julio Urias and the late Kershaw have all been impressive this season. The boiler was shut down due to flexor strain and surgery to remove his corner bone, but he was able to return in September. Dustin will return sometime in August after Tommy John’s surgery in May 2021. If any of these pitchers reappear at or near the peak of their past, the Dodgers will have a rotation to resist San Diego’s early intense group.
The depth of the Dodgers in baseball is incomparable
In addition to the key players Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Bates, Dustin May and Walker Bueller, Ben Verlander dives into the depths of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their success.
So consider their position as well. It is customary for the host team to send their top power hitter to the home run derby. Who will represent the Dodgers in that competition next week at Dodger Stadium?
All-Star Game starter Mookie Bates leads the team in home runs, but he is not a traditional power hitter. He has recently recovered from a major injury. Trey Turner, who started the game at shortstop, is no less than a power hitter and told reporters he would not participate.
Freddie Freeman has tried this before and it doesn’t work. Cody Bellinger and Max Munshi have done this before, but their statistical lines have not been very effective this season.
Will Smith would probably be the most meaningful. Dodgers Sportsnet LA Broadcast reported Saturday that it is open to participation. He’s an elite hitter for Catcher, but he hasn’t even crossed 25 home runs in a single season, and even in 2022 he’s not fast.
Again, this is an unconventional, unexpected kind of success that the Dodgers are experiencing. Bates, Turner and Freeman have influenced the rules of their careers. Former top professional Gavin Lux is re-establishing what the rules of his career might be. But many others – Bellinger, Munshi and Justin Turner – are struggling to live up to expectations.
The Dodgers are currently battling left-handers Jake Lamb and Trace Thompson due to Chris Taylor’s injury. Three weeks ago, there were no players on the 40-man roster. So it doesn’t matter. The pair have added more than 1.000 homers and one ops to their first 66 plates.
Yes, the Dodgers would love to find some of their struggling stars in their form before October. But they are far ahead in the division and will represent well in the all-star game.
His methods are still working.
Pedro Maura is the national baseball author of Fox Sports. He previously covered Dodgers for three seasons for Athletic and previously covered Dodgers for five seasons for the Orange County Register and LA Times. Most recently, he covered his alma mater, USC, for ESPNLosAngeles.com. The son of a Brazilian immigrant, he grew up in a suburb of Southern California. His first book, How to Beat a Broken Game, came out this spring. Follow him on twitter Pedromora,
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