We are almost to the halfway point of our journey to 44 complete player evaluations, let's carry onward.
Tom Gorzelanny - Age 29 - Arbitration Eligible (3rd time - Super 2)
How he became a Nat: Came over to the Nats from the Cubs in a January trade that sent AJ Morris, Graham Hicks, and Michael Burgess to the North Side.
The Raw Numbers:
Games - 30
Games Started - 15
ERA - 4.03
FIP - 4.19
K/9 - 8.14
WAR - 0.7
Key Stat: 4.46/2.42. This split right here is Gorzelanny's ERA as a starter and as a reliever. Across the board, Gorzelanny was much more dominant in the relief role - posting a better WHIP (1.343/1.075), K/BB (2.78/3.33), and BAA (.267/.222).
Best Game: May 2nd vs Los Gigantes. In just his 5th start of the season, Gorzelanny showed why Mike Rizzo pulled the trigger to bring him to DC. He went 8 innings, gave up no runs, only 3 hits, struck out 4 and walked 0. It was a wonderful outing that lead the way in a Nats 2-0 win against the defending World Champions. The 80 Bill James Game Score was the second highest of his career, behind a 2006 start against the Pirates (83).
Worst Game: July 23rd vs the Dodgers. It wasn't his worst WPA of the season, but IMO it was his worst appearance - start to very quick finish. Gorzelanny lasted just 3 innings against an underachieving club, giving up 8 hits and 5 earned runs. The Nats bullpen gave the Nats a chance but the Curly W's lost 7-6.
CapBall Grade: C. As a starter, Gorzelanny was the definition of inconsistent - 8 shutout innings one night, can't make it out of the 5th the next. A 4.46 ERA as a starter won't cut it in the NL East. Once he was moved to the Pen, into an ill-defined role none-the-less, he was able to concentrate on getting through the order once instead of multiple times. It should be noted that he inherited 9 runners as a reliever and that NONE of them scored.
2012 Nats Status: I don't believe that he will be back next year, but I've been wrong (many times) before. He is still under club control which would make him a cheap starting option, but not for this club and $2.1Mill+ is too much to pay for a 29 year-old starter/reliever/no-real-role. I don't see the team offering him arbitration, which would make him a free agent. He probably will catch on with a team looking for cheap starting pitching.