Nearly three years later, Robert Gsellman is returning to the rotation.
Though Walker Lockett appeared to be the favorite to fill Wednesday’s vacancy against the Nationals, Luis Rojas gave Gsellman his first start since Sept. 27, 2017, with plans to keep the right-hander in the injured Michael Wacha’s rotation spot.
Gsellman, who made 29 starts in his first two major league seasons before becoming a full-time reliever, was slated to throw as many as 60 pitches, but ended up limited to two innings and 33 pitches (22 strikes) in the 11-6 win at Citi Field, allowing three runs — on a Juan Soto homer to deep right — and four hits with one strikeout.
“Man, I was so nervous. I felt like a little kid again,” Gsellman said. “I don’t know how quickly I can ramp up, but … I’m prepared to go as a starter. Whatever they need. I love to start. That’s a lot more fun.”
Rojas said the team discussed employing an opener instead of a traditional starter going forward, but he prefers to use Gsellman, who had previously pitched just one inning this season — his only appearance in the past calendar year due to numerous injuries.