Brewers get their lefty in Gorzelanny | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Ever since the non-tendering of Manny Parra, the only thing higher than left-handed reliever on Doug Melvin’s offseason wishlist has been starting pitcher. While he’s still come up empty there, he at least took care of the lefty reliever need Thursday: according to Tom Haudricourt, the Brewers have signed familiar face Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year deal.

Gorzelanny started his career in Pittsburgh before spending a year and a half with the Cubs in 2009 and 2010. He’s spent the last two years in Washington, mostly coming out of the bullpen.

Once hailed as one of the better young pitchers in the game (remember when he, Ian Snell, Paul Maholm and Zach Duke were going to be the young core to get the Bucs back in contention?), things fell apart for him after the 2007 season. While he can still be an okay emergency starter, he seems to have really found a niche in the bullpen.

Last season, he put up a 2.88 ERA in 45 appearances for the Nats, striking out a little more than 8 batters per 9 innings. He was an especially valuable piece against left-handed batters, holding them to a .237/.289/.398 line last season. He was serviceable-but-not-great against righties, as they hit .245/.343/.397 against him. If you’re into judging relievers on opponent batting average the performance looks pretty even, but the walk numbers are a little concerning. You may remember the issues Parra had with walks against right-handers last year, although Gorzelanny doesn’t typically struggle to that degree.

For his career, Gorzelanny has seen righties hit .273/.354/.435 against him, compared to a .233/.296/.367 line from lefties. The Brewers could probably get away with using Gorzelanny against a righty or two in some situations (he could probably handle a R-L-R stretch every now and then), but it’s pretty clear he shouldn’t be expected to do it consistently.

No salary numbers have been released yet, but it’s probably safe to assume it’s less than the $8 million Sean Burnett got from the Angels for two years. Randy Choate signed a 3-year, $7.5 million deal with the Cardinals earlier this month, which might be along the lines of what we can expect for an annual average value.

Gorzelanny seems headed for the bullpen, joining John Axford, Jim Henderson, Burke Badenhop and probably Brandon Kintzler. Assuming a 12-man pitching staff, that leaves two spots still open.

UPDATE: Jon Morosi of Fox Sports says the two-year deal will be for a total of $6 million.

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. SecondHandStore says: December 20, 2012

    Tom Gorzelanny = Chris Narveson. I think they’re better with him, as it sits right now, but I think they’d have been better served to sign a guy like Francisco Liriano or Joe Saunders and move Narveson to the pen. I may be wrong here, but I feel like this move almost guarantees Narveson will be in the starting rotation, or at the very least, that this is their plan. That doesn’t sit well with me. He’s mediocre(not saying that’s bad) when he’s healthy and at his best, but he’s coming off shoulder surgery so who knows what to expect. Gorzelanny is better than nothing, but the move is uninspiring, and I say that after seriously paring down my free agent expectations.

    • Cecil Cooper's Love Child says: December 20, 2012

      I like the move. It allows us to be careful with Narveson. I see Narveson opening up the year in Nashville’s rotation. Gorzelanny in the pen ideally with Yo, Fiers, Rogers, Peralta and Estrada in the rotation. Thornburg, Burgos, Narveson and Nelson starting in AAA.

      I think we still need 2 more bullpen arms, but it looks like we have plenty of depth for the rotation.

      • SecondHandStore says: December 20, 2012

        Narveson doesn’t have any minor league options left so he’d have to be exposed to waivers and accept assignment to the minors to be able to start in AAA and that’s not going to happen so he’ll have to be on the MLB team. Since I see Narveson and Gorzelanny as basically the same pitcher, I assume one will be in the starting rotation and I’d expect it to be Narveson. That’s just my opinion though. Could be wrong.

        • MilwaukeeBravesFan says: December 20, 2012

          If he’s deemed “hurt” by the team, they could send him to the DL.

      • Nicholas Zettel says: December 20, 2012

        I agree about the sentiment on Gorzelanny and Narveson; it does seem like they’re confident about giving Narveson a spot in the rotation (given that they had a chance to non-tender Narveson and offer him a minor/major deal that would have gone around waivers, I don’t see them waiving him).

        Gorzelanny should be a solid, flexible option for the club. Roenicke will certainly have his options of guys to start games when he needs ‘em.

  2. JP says: December 20, 2012

    He is more consistant than Parra that is for sure I m not a huge fan of Narveson either..although he does help beer sales at Miller Park out.. I think Melvin is settled on his guys and keeping room if there in middle of the season to make a move.. I don’t think we need a splash but we brewer fans better hope the young arms come to play…Were not flashy but yet we led the league in HRs and SBs..

  3. Bob Hale says: December 20, 2012

    I like it…..let’s go to Spring Training and see how it sorts out. With their offense, Brewers need an “average” pitching staff to make the playoffs. With this move, it will be up to the coaches to “mix and match” to get there. I think they can do it.

  4. dsid74 says: December 20, 2012

    I can see both being in the bullpen..although the odds are Narvy will start.

    I don’t think DM is done looking for a starter. It likely won’t be a #2 or 3. But for the right price he may lock in a solid innings eater. There are still many 4&5′s out there. If the kids excel it’s cheap insurance…if they falter or injuries strike…it will be much needed depth. To me, there is still a risk that this staff won’t be able to deliver enough innings.

    Yo, Willy, Rogers, Marco, new guy. There would be nothing wrong with 2 LHR to go with Ax, Henderson, Badenhop…2 from Kintzler, Olmstead and the rest.

    • dsid74 says: December 20, 2012

      Of course Gorzy could be the insurance policy and DM could sign (LHR) Mike Gonzalez. RR could choose between Narvy & Gorzy for the 5th spot with the other in the pen. Gonzalez is more of a specialist where the other 2 could easily pitch 1 or more innings.

  5. Pete Filla says: December 20, 2012

    If the Brewers plan to fill seats, which is necessary in a small market, then they will need to get a starting pitcher or someone that will instill confidence in the fans as well as the team! I am a frustrated Brewers fan who is sick of watching excellent home grown talent go to other teams (Lee, Fielder, etc.). Why can’t we have an owner who has deep pockets and a passion for Wisconsin, baseball and the Brewers???? Are we as Brewers fans content with mediocrity? That seems to be the road we are traveling down at this point. I am holding out hope that Doug Melvin has a plan because he is an excellent front office guy, but my patience is wearing thin!!!!

    • Bob says: December 21, 2012

      What “seat filling” SP is available right now? I can’t think of any.

      Carlose Lee wasn’t homegrown talent, we got him from the White Sox for Scott Podsednik.

    • brewer brian says: December 21, 2012

      i am very excited about our brewers with the addition of gorzy! i really like our young pitchers and cant wait to see what they can do over the course of a full season! speaking offense, well, its not a question of will we score runs, its how many!! so, are all you brewer fans with me?? lets get it started yes? milwaukee brewers all day baby!!!!!!

    • dsid74 says: December 21, 2012

      It has nothing to do with a deep pocket owner. It is the small market syndrom…there just isn’t enough money via TV, radio, etc. The revenue the Brewers collect at the turnstyles is competitve with the rest of the teams.

      Until the agree to a salary cap or a much more generous revenue sharing plan…the Brewers will remain financially disadvantaged.

      • Nicholas Zettel says: December 21, 2012

        Indeed. Are there even a handful of examples of owners that have spent their own money, anyway?

        These clubs spend league revenue, local TV revenue, etc. But their own owner’s money? Not so sure about that.

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