Left-hander Gio Gonzalez made his 2019 season debut on Sunday, and turned in a solid effort. But should he stay in the Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation?
The Milwaukee Brewers started the season with a trio of young starters in the rotation. Only one of them is still taking the ball every fifth day. Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta could return to the starting staff soon, but veterans Chase Anderson and Gio Gonzalez are occupying spots now. Should the young starters force the veterans to the bullpen, or should the Brewers stick with experience?
How did Gonzalez do on Sunday?
Gonzalez was solid on Sunday against the Mets in Citi Field. He tossed five innings and allowed two runs. Gonzalez gave up six hits and one walk while striking out two. He needed 82 pitches to record 15 outs, and threw 55 for strikes. Gonzalez recorded seven groundball outs. He averaged 89.2 MPH on his fastball, 82.1 MPH on his change up, and 75.2 MPH on his curve.
He may not have the velocity that he had a few years ago, but he did a good job of mixing his pitches, and changing speeds. He’s unlikely to post a K/9 over 9.00 again, but he can keep hitters off balance and gobble up innings for the Milwaukee Brewers this year.
Should Gonzalez stay in the rotation?
This decision would be a lot easier to make if it weren’t for Peralta’s return later this week. The Milwaukee Brewers will have to move either Gonzalez or Anderson into the bullpen to make room for Peralta in the rotation. Gonzalez worked out of the bullpen last year, and Anderson spent time as a reliever this year. Either option could end up working in relief, but Gonzalez was just signed to start. It would make more sense for Gonzalez to stick in the starting five and send Anderson back to the rotation at this point.
The Milwaukee Brewers have an odd starting rotation. Only two starters should end the year with over 30 starts. The rest of the rotation will be pieced together by at least seven other starters. Gonzalez’ start on Sunday was a positive first effort. He should stay in the mix for starts, but he will get skipped on occasion, possibly as soon as this week.