Milwaukee Brewers: Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez acquired
By Paul Bretl
After a long wait for many, the Milwaukee Brewers have acquired a starting pitcher to help them make their final playoff push.
Just before the calendar flips to September, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to bring in left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals via a trade. As of now it appears the Brewers will send catcher KJ Harrison and infielder Gilbert Lara to Washington.
Who is Gio Gonzalez?
The 33-year-old Gonzalez is an 11-year veteran and has been with Washington since the 2012 season. He will be a free agent at the end of this season, and still has $2 million left on his contract to be paid out.
The Milwaukee Brewers were one of the teams linked to Gonzalez before the July trade-deadline, but a deal couldn’t be worked out. At this point in the season, the Nationals find themselves more willing to make a deal as they know they are all but out of contention in the playoff race.
The 2017 season was a very good season for Gonzalez. He had a 15-9 record with a 2.96 ERA. Combined with Max Scherzer, he was a big part of the success in the Nationals starting rotation.
Gonzalez got off to a solid start to his 2018 campaign. He started 6-2, but since the All-Star break, he’s 1-5 with a 6.55 ERA.
Are there concerns that come with Gonzalez?
The big issue for Gonzalez is giving up walks. Currently, he has 70 on the season, which is second most allowed in the National League this season. Hopefully his command will improve and he will return to pitching as he did during the first half of the season.
Where does Gonzalez fit into the Brewers?
Even with his recent struggles, Gonzalez will be a nice addition to the rotation. He will be the only starting pitcher on the Milwaukee Brewers with post-season experience, which will be helpful as they fight for a playoff spot. Also, his addition will give manager Craig Counsell another arm in the rotation to add depth. At this time of the year that’s never a bad thing to have.
It is uncertain at this time how Gonzalez will be used, but with Zach Davies returning, it is almost certain that Junior Guerra will get removed from the starting rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers will also have the option to move Freddy Peralta to the bullpen. It’s been known that they’ve been monitoring his innings and moving him to the pen would give them a way to limit his use while still keeping him available and strengthening the bullpen.
This move, coupled with the Milwaukee Brewers favorable schedule in September, gives them a lot of options on how they want to use their rotation and focus on particular pitching match ups. It will most likely add another pitcher to our bullpen, giving their relief corps a boost as well. Hopefully the change in scenery will improve Gonzalez’ performance, but this was a good move by GM David Stearns that will add depth and flexibility for the rotation.