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Tom Gorzelanny: Starting Pitcher Target

Now that Bubba has signed, it is time to get back to looking for ways the Royals can improve their starting pitching staff. One player that may be available relatively cheap is Tom Gorzelanny of the Washingtion Nationals.

Recently, Gorzelanny passed through waivers and can now be traded to any team. On the surface, his stats don't look that good, 2-6 record with a 4.50 ERA. Digging a little deeper, shows that he may be a nice fit for Kansas City.

So far in 2011, the 29 year old has a 8.1 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9. The K rate is higher than any other starter on the Royals and the walk rate would be the second lowest (Francis = 1.7 BB/9). These values have led to a FIP/xFIP/SIERA that are all lower than his ERA 4.37/4.04/3.64.

His main problem is his propensity to for home runs. His FB/HR sits right at the league average of 11%, with a career value at 8.9%. The problem is the that he has an OF FB% of 37.7% for 2011 and 31.1% for his career (league average = 28.2%). The fly ball rate has lead to a 1.43 HR/9 rate (9th highest value in the league this year for pitchers with a min of 80 IP). A move that has him pitching half his games in home run suppressing Kaufman Stadium should help these numbers though.

He did miss 24 games this season with elbow inflammation, so he is not 100% healthy.

He currently has some were between 3 and 4 years of service time, so the Royals could have him for 2 more years (this I am not 100% sure of these number, someone should double check the values) of service if they traded for him. They would probably owe him 4.5M next year and 6M in 2013 if they kept him for the next two years. The team could also take the chance that he is released and hope to pick him up much cheaper.

Gorzelanny is far from an ideal pitcher, but he would be an improvement over some of the other options the Royals currently have in house. I would like to see the Royals take a chance on him.