Results tagged ‘ bullpen ’
Tom Gorzelanny has a lot of experience as a starting pitcher. After debuting in “The Show” with a three game/one start cup of coffee in 2005 at the tender age of 22, Gorzelanny would go on to make 60-SOMETHING starts over the next three seasons. He began a transition after the 2008 season, but all of that is better outlined in my columns both when he was signed by Milwaukee and again during the “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” series this spring. With all of that experience, it made sense for manager Ron Roenicke to eventually reach Gorzelanny as an option to start games when the Brewers original starters and several other backup options began dropping to injury.
Even with a poor outing (4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR) two starts ago against the Cincinnati Reds, his numbers this year have looked good overall. In fact, prior to his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals, radio personality Joe Block piled on some praise for the southpaw.
— Joe Block (@joe_block) August 21, 2013
Furthermore, if Gorzelanny was able to replicate his success into the starting rotation, it would be great for Doug Melvin’s budget as he’s signed for 2014 at a reasonable rate for a reliever and a huge cost savings for a veteran starter.
With so much in the universe seemingly pushing Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke in this direction, one has to ask the still painfully obvious question: “Isn’t it time we ended this?”
Because here’s the thing about those numbers referenced by Block earlier… The majority of that 8th-best work came out of the bullpen. That’s because there’s a reason that Thomas Stephen Gorzelanny was converted to the bullpen full time in 2012 by the Washington Nationals. There’s a reason that they kept him there, effectively giving them innings and multiple scoreless outings. His only start of 2012 came on the final day of Washington’s regular season. And he only got that start because manager Davey Johnson was lining up his starting rotation for the postseason.
And for the record, how did Gorzelanny do in that start against the Cardinals?
3.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR…oof.
But it’s all fine and dandy to just tell you things and hope that you believe them. If you’d like some hard statistical facts to go along with my stance, then check out the following splits over the last two seasons combined and tell me where Gorzelanny best fits to help the Milwaukee Brewers win baseball games.
SP: 2-4, 10 G, 47.0 IP, 51 H, 27 R, 23 ER, 8 HR, 13 BB, 48 K, 1.36 WHIP, .271 BAA, 4.40 ERA
RP: 5-3, 76 G, 105.0 IP, 81 H, 36 R, 32 ER, 10 HR, 47 BB, 92 K, 1.22 WHIP, .215 BAA, 2.74 ERA
The real trouble lately for Gorzelanny though is what you might expect out of a guy who is flourishing in a long-/middle-relief role after failing as a starter. He gets hit quite hard as he attempts to get through an opposing lineup for the third time.
Here are his 2013 slash line splits (BAA/OBP/SLG/OPS) by time through a batting order as a starter:
1st Time: .274/.312/.384/.695
2nd Time: .209/.217/.373/.591
There is more which we could get into including breakdowns of hitter handedness, leveraged situations, WPA, and more, but let’s just suffice it to say that none of those stats exactly support Gorzelanny remaining in the rotation either.
Gorzelanny is scheduled to start on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. He could do a great job. He could hold the upstart Bucs down for a quality start or more. But, based on the supporting statistics, it would be nothing more than a momentary divergence from the greatest likelihood with the next poor start just down the road a spell.
Does Tom Gorzelanny have a place on this team? Without question. It’s just that his place should be starting home games in the left-center field bullpen instead of on the mound.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers have decided to call up Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez to the 25-man roster in advance of tonight’s game.
It was being widely reported that the team had until Thursday to decide but Heyman said that deadline was today in fact.
After pitching in consecutive games for the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds, we shouldn’t expect Rodriguez to be available tonight necessarily but Ron Roenicke has stated in the past that Rodriguez can go even four days in a row if he has to. Even still, I have to believe a hitter heads down to begin with.
This move has not yet been announced by the team nor obviously would the corresponding roster move have been.
***UPDATE: Ron Roenicke told the media before pregame warm-up that Rodriguez is en route and if he makes it in time to be active, then they’ll announce the corresponding roster move.
Said Roenicke: “Frankie is on his way here, and we’ll wait to see if he can get here by game time. If he gets here, we’ll make a move. If not, we’ll do it tomorrow.”
As for his performance on the field since signing, Roenicke said, “I don’t know if he’s quite back to where he was last year, but he’s 90, 91 (on the fastball). Changeup’s been very good. We’ll see.”***
- Roenicke quotes courtesy Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.
That is to say that most rumors passed along need to be taken with the caveat that very little that from a transactional standpoint that is discussed in baseball actually happens in baseball.
In other words, the exact thing that I’m about to tell you has happened, but that’s all that has happened to this point. It may or may not progress from this point, but that’s why we pay attention.
(Also, I usually do my best to get confirmation before I pass something along, but do only have this from one person right now. That person has proven extremely reliable, but still, it’s only the one and you deserve to know that up front.)
The Brewers have been in contact with the respective agents for two veteran relief pitchers. The contact was described as a “touch base”, kind of a way to see where they were at in case the Brewers decided to make a formal offer. That’s what I was told yesterday.
Today, I’m told that an offer will be presented to one of the two pitchers (if it hasn’t been already) but based on the circumstances it’s unlikely that the pitcher will accept the offer, at least not at the current dollar amount. That’s because the circumstances I mentioned are that the same pitcher reportedly had a higher offer on the table from a different club and turned it down last week.
The pitcher who hasn’t received an offer (and I hope he doesn’t based on how his latest work in MLB went) is irrelevant today, in my opinion. He’s a former Brewer, but I’ll bring him back up if Milwaukee decides, for some reason, to make him an offer.
The other pitcher is also a former Brewers reliever, much more recently than his counterpart in fact. He was lights out for much of his first few months before succumbing to the same plague as the rest of the 2012 bullpen.
Yes, I’m talking about Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez.
Could Rodriguez come in like he did back in 2011 and provide a spark to the Milwaukee bullpen? Or would his lackluster performances from 2012 carryover into this year season? For what it’s worth, K-Rod looked pretty bad during the World Baseball Classic while pitching for his native Venezuela. That being said, there could be a number of innocuous reasons for those performances.
Will Rodriguez come back to Milwaukee though? It’s no secret that he relishes a chance to close games, something that the Brewers are currently relying on Jim Henderson for, but the other club that reportedly offered him more money had that role to offer as well. That doesn’t bode well for Doug Melvin and company, assuming the report I heard is 100% accurate. Then again, K-Rod surprised many people by accepting the Brewers’ offer of arbitration after the 2011 season as well.
Again, just something to keep in the back of your mind. He may sign, he may not. He may decline, he may not even officially respond. If he does decline, you can expect a denial from the Brewers who understandably wouldn’t want the guys in the current bullpen to worry unnecessarily.
Thanks for reading. If you didn’t pick up your grain of salt on the way in, the shaker is by the door. Help yourself.
Midnight EST on Friday is the next milestone in the off-season as all teams must decide whether to tender contracts to players under team control but who do not have a fixed contract value for 2013. This can lead to arbitration, to long-term contract talks, to a simple one-year deal or possibly even to a trade. Player who aren’t tendered become free agents and can sign with any team.
Often times a player is non-tendered because his cost outweighs his value. Non-tendered players are free to re-sign with their original team. This occurs to reduce cost associated with a player’s years of arbitration eligibility.
The Brewers began the off-season with a handful of non-tender candidates. Nearly all of them have since been designated for assignment and subsequently released (or they refused a minor-league assignment with the same effect). The Brewers do have a relatively high-profile non-tender candidate remaining, however…
Eventually a well-regarded prospect after being taken in the 26th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft back in 2001, Parra is now a 30-year-old southpaw relief pitcher who doesn’t exactly get left-handed hitters out like he should if he were to focus his efforts.
It can be accurately stated that over the course of his career Parra fares better against lefties than he does against right-handed hitters. This is reflected in his career splits of .267/.349/.417/.766 against .290/.371/.438/.809. It’s also accurate that in his first season where he only pitched out of the bullpen, Parra beat his career averages.
Therein lies the question which must be answered by Doug Melvin et al. Should Parra become a LOOGy and, if so, how much is he worth (financially) in that role?
Parra has had a bit of relative success against right-handed hitters when you compare him to a “standard” LOOGy. What you have to ask yourself if you’re Melvin is whether Parra is consistently successful enough to continue to warrant a role where he faces multiple hitters are varying handedness in a given appearance.
I personally don’t think so and I would completely understand if Melvin and field manager Ron Roenicke altered Parra’s role in 2013…assuming he’s with the team.
That’s the other question. If Parra, who is arbitration-eligible, isn’t worth the usual increase by way of the arbitration process. This is Parra’s second year of arbitration eligibility. Parra made $1.2 million in 2012* which isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things. With the premium on bullpen arms, especially given that it could be argued that Parra has added value in that some might feel he could still start games, a 2013 salary of $1.75 million or more wouldn’t shock me.
So Parra isn’t as pressing of an issue as Jose Veras, Kameron Loe, and Nyjer Morgan were, for example. Each of those players were projected for new salaries of over $2.5 million. In other words, if the Brewers decide to keep Manny Parra for 2013, it works financially on its own merit. Putting everything together though with production determining value for that cost is what Melvin and company are no doubt weighing.
The other thing to note about the non-tender deadline is that there will be players released by other teams, some of which might be appealing to the Brewers. It could be a cheaper way to fill some of these bullpen roles which currently stand open for Milwaukee. If they do cut ties with Parra (and then don’t bring him back) the Brewers really only have three players currently in the bullpen. They are John Axford, Jim Henderson, and Brandon Kintzler.
They’ll need help. They’d do well for at least one piece of the help to throw the pill with his left hand. Will that be Parra? Stay tuned.