Okay, so the Milwaukee Brewers finally made a move. However, was it a move worth making? For now, yes it was.
Tom Gorzelanny has been scouted as basically a more successful version of Manny Parra so let’s just have that sink in. While Gorzelanny is a lefty, he is our only left-handed pitcher aside from Chris Narveson. The Brewers had been talking to a few relievers, namely Mike Gonzalez, who is another left-handed pitcher.
So even though the Brewers may have nabbed Gorzelanny, the work is still far from done. This is a bullpen that may not exactly be fail proof, but will hopefully be more consistent than this year’s disaster.
What Gorzelanny brings to the Brewers isn’t anything too flashy, but he looks to have found a break in his struggles in 2012. This season, Gorzelanny posted a 2.88 ERA in 72 innings of relief while striking out 62. His opponent’s had .242/.320/.398 slash line against him, so he has some trouble with allowing runners on, but this is an overall lower slash line than in 2011. What also changed about Gorzelanny from 2011 to 2012 was in K/9 ratio that was 8.14 in 2011 and 7.75 in 2012. He relied heavily on the ground to get most of his outs as 42.9 percent of his outs were grounders.
Gorzelanny isn’t by any means an overbearing pitcher. He’s not going to intimidate a lot of hitters, but if he keeps up what he did in 2012 into the coming season, then he’ll give a reason for batters to start getting nervous. What might bring some concern is his career 7.63 ERA in Miller Park, but that’s only in seven games so maybe it’s nothing to get too worked up over. Regardless, Gorzelanny being a left-handed pitcher brings an advantage to this bullpen and hopefully he’ll pan out to be a worthwhile signing.
Moving on from him, the Brewers still need help, mainly left-handed. Aside from Gonzalez who has been mentioned before, Doug Melvin was also interested in free-agents Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor and Kyle Farnsworth. Honestly, Frasor might be the only one worth pursuing from those three as they are all A) in their mid-30s and B) they are all right handed. None of them really stand out too much relief wise, but they all have that veteran presence that could help a newly formed bullpen. Not to mention lefty J.P. Howell still needs a home alongside Gonzalez and Frasor.
So where do the Brewers go from the Gorzelanny signing? Well, after more relief arms of course. One man doesn’t make a bullpen, but if the Brewers were to sign say two more people (one righty and one lefty), then there’s what we need in order to kick start this bullpen for 2013. Guys like Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler proved they belonged in the bullpen, so we have somewhat of a stepping stone. Overall, Gorzelanny is a nice signing, but he’s just a step in the right direction.