Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2007 Review: Tom Gorzelanny

I am going to get through these things come hell or highwater. I swear.

2006: 2.34 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 94 K, 27 BB in 100 innings at AAA Indy, 3.79 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 40 K, 31 BB in 61 and 2/3 innings in Pittsburgh
2006 rate stats: 8.46 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, 0.36 HR/9 in AAA, 5.83 K/9, 4.52 BB/9, 0.44 HR/9 in Pittsburgh
2007: 3.88 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 135 K, 68 BB, 18 HR in 201 and 2/3 innings
2007 rate stats: 6.02 K/9, 3.03 BB/9, 0.80 HR/9

It's pretty obvious that we can't use Gorzelanny's numbers from AAA last year for analytical purposes because he was just waaay too good for AAA in 2006. That being said, I think it's pretty clear that his numbers were pretty good with the Pirates in 2007. His basic line (ERA and WHIP) were pretty good from his short 2006 stint with the Pirates, but his periphals (walks and strikeouts especially) weren't great. That kind of thing is what's pretty much doomed Zach Duke to this point in his career, but Gorzelanny overcame it nicely this year. He got his K/BB ratio up to just about 2:1 this year after it sat around 5:4 with his short stint with us last year. That's a nice improvement in one year for a 24-year old.

I do have a couple concerns about him, however. Keep in mind that I'm really happy overall with his season this year and it went much better than I expected it to after his rough spring training and as I said, his peripherals were pretty good this year. Still, you can see he was pretty much a K an inning guy in the minors and a lot of his gaudy minor league stats stem from that, I think. I know that strikeouts generally come last to pitchers like him, but I don't see much in his stuff that tells me he can ramp his strikeouts up much higher than he had them this year, right around 6 K/9. It's still too early to worry about that, I think, but it is something to keep an eye on. The second thing I'm concerned about is the big one. He's got a bit of an injury history in the minors and even with his two years with the big clubs. Despite that, he put up a lot of high pitch count games this year (Wilbur Miller tracked him at 10 games with 110 or more), which is even a bigger deal because he exceeded 2006's inning total by about 40 innings this year. I guess what I'm saying is I won't be surprised at all to see him have some kind of serious arm trouble next year, and I hate saying stuff like that about players.