LOS ANGELES ― Tony Gonzalino is running out of time to join the Dodgers’ starting rotation in time for the postseason, and manager Dave Roberts has talked the right-hander into contributing in a variety of roles in October.
“He’s open to anything,” Roberts said.
Gonsalin will throw two simulated pitches to his teammates at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. The next step in his recovery from his right forearm injury is an important one.
An uneventful walk and a quick return on Friday would allow Gonzalez to pitch in a minor league rehab game next week. In the best case scenario, Gonsalin would have managed to make one major league start before the end of the regular season.
The Dodgers have five days off between the regular-season finale on Oct. 5 and the first game of the top-five National League Division Series. In theory, Gonsalin could use that time to build up some innings to start the postseason.
However, it’s more likely that the pitcher, who started the season 11-0 and led the NL in ERA through August 30, will start the postseason as a reliever or in a “backstop” situation — similar to his early-season role , in tandem with left-hander Tyler Anderson.
Allowing Gonzalo to take his time is a luxury the Dodgers can afford. Enviously, they have five healthy starting pitchers — Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Andrew Heaney and Anderson — whose combined 2.48 ERA would be lower than any other starting lineup in baseball.
“At some point, you’re kind of dealt a hand and you have to do the best you can with it,” Roberts said. “Everything now, of course, is not perfect. But can you make it work? Of course.”
Gonsalin was 16-1 with a 2.10 ERA when he last pitched on Aug. 23. His 128⅓ innings is a career high and more than double his output last season.
TRAINED ON THE OFFICE
Blake Treinen’s postseason status was also dealt a blow when the right-hander did not return from his simulated game on Monday as hoped.
Originally slated to return from the 15-day injured list on Thursday, Treinen now has no set return date. Brusdar Graterol, who also pitched a simulated inning on Monday, will be activated instead.
Trainen played on Wednesday and will be reevaluated. Roberts said “if we get him back, we’ll have enough runway” before the playoffs open on Oct. 11.
Right-hander Yancey Almonte, who is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, should pitch Friday and Sunday, Roberts said. … David Price (wrist) will simulate pitching against teammates on Thursday. … Outfielder Kevin Pillar went 1-for-4 with a single with two hits and went seven innings in left field in a rehab game with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Pilar, who underwent surgery on June 7 to treat a fractured left shoulder, was expected to miss the rest of the season.
Arizona (RHP Zac Gallen, 12-3, 2.52) at Dodgers (LHP Julio Urías, 17-7, 2.27 ERA), Thursday, 7 p.m., SportsNet LA, MLB Network, 570 AM