Grading the Brewers: Tom Gorzelanny


When the Milwaukee Brewers reconstructed the disaster of a bullpen from 2012, they did so with intentions to make a clear change and with proven relievers. Lucky enough for them, they were able to strike a deal with Tom Gorzelanny.

How did the lefty’s season go and what type of grade did the reliever earn?

Tom Gorzelanny was a jack of all trades during this season. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps one of the better offseason signings last year (next to Kyle Lohse) was that of Gorzelanny. Not only had Gorzelanny just come out of a successful 2012 with the Washington Nationals, but he was a prominent left-hander and something the Brewers’ bullpen needed badly. Looking at where Gorzelanny worked in this rotation this year, he had his ups and downs, but sustained long enough this season that he was worth the two-year deal.

Out of the gate, Gorzelanny was solid in the month of April with an ERA of 1.54 in 11.1 innings pitched, but did walk six batters and only struck out nine. May was a bit rough for Gorzelanny who only made seven appearances and was hit for three runs, but would even out for the rest of the season until August, during the middle of his spot starting tenure this season.

Gorzelanny’s starts at the beginning of his time in the rotation were positive, but during late July and the entirety of August, it was a much different story for the 31-year-old. In his last two starts of July, Gorzelanny allowed nine runs in 11 innings pitched and things from there on would be extremely rough for him.

August was completely dreadful for him as he sported an ERA of 6.65 in five starts (21.2 innings), but the one silver lining was his seven inning shutout start on August 10. It’s not as if Gorzelanny was new to starting pitching, in fact he used to be in a rotation and only recently he was moved to the bullpen.

From September on, Gorzelanny would miss the rest of the season after getting injured in a start on September 2. The team was hopeful of his return near the end of the month, but it was to no avail as he had to be shut down. Fortunately, this injury occurred at the end of the season instead of it lingering on within the year.

On the season, Gorzelanny was 3-6 with an ERA of 3.90, WHIP of 1.27 in 85.1 innings. He had a K/9 of 8.75 and a BB/9 of 3.27, which were both better than his 2012 numbers. Perhaps the greatest thing for Gorzelanny was his drop in xFIP from 2012’s 4.21 to 2013’s 3.64. He posted some good numbers this season and the only reason his ERA ballooned was because of some of those ugly starts.

Overall, Gorzelanny is a nice presence to bring into a ball game and someone that manager Ron Roenicke may find himself relying on more next season. Gorzelanny does have his issues, namely a higher BAA and BABIP, but saw increases in velocity in most of his go to pitches. With the departure of left-hander Mike Gonzalez, Gorzelanny will be the number one chess piece next season providing the Brewers don’t sign another lefty.

Gorzelanny’s final grade: B-