In 8 days, all the Nationals diehards will be preparing to head to Nationals Park on Opening Day. Until then, we're going to predict the 25 man roster. With one catch. We're going to do it one day at a time. This way, we can provide more in depth thoughts on who we think is going to make the roster, why we think so, and what to expect from them in 2011. On the morning of Opening Day, we'll post the real 25-man compared with what we predicted.
Today we delve into a former Cubbie, Tom Gorzelanny.
Why? The Nats traded two of their top 30 draft picks for the right-hander in the offseason, expecting him to be the 5th starter. This trade was met with a bit of skepticism throughout NatsTown, wondering why we were trading a (Supplemental) First-Round selection for a mediocre pitcher that we didn't necessarily need. Initially, it seemed as if the Cubs took the Nats to school on this trade, though I've warmed to it recently.
Being a victim of a numbers game in Chicago, Gorzelanny joined another challenge in Viera; too many pitchers, too few spots. His spring started late due to illness, but he has shown that he can be effective. Rizzo and Riggleman had in their minds that Gorzelanny was going to be in the rotation, and come March 31st he will be there. But for how long.
What should you expect? Don't expect a 10 win season. I still don't see Gorzelanny being a good fit in Washington, especially with McCatty's "new" philosophy of throwing strikes. In 2010, Tom had a 4.49 BB/9, not a great number, and even worse considering that its not even close to his career worst (5.98 in 2008). The ability to strike batters out is great, but even that number went down by more than 1 K/9 last year. It should be noted that his K/BB ratio is even this Spring, 8 K and 8 BB.
I see Gorzelanny winning about 8 or 9 games with a +4 ERA, a 4.50 BB/9, a 7.5 K/9, and about 23 starts. All contingent on him staying in the Nats rotation all year, which I am not convinced he will with Detwiler and Maya nipping at his heels...