Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy.
Traditionally a starter, Tom Gorzelanny pitched his first season serving solely as a reliever in 2012 (save for one spot start to allow Gio Gonzalez to rest before the National League Division Series), and it was one of the best seasons of his career.
Gorzelanny frustrated Washington Nationals fans in 2011 with his 2-6 win-loss record and his 4.03 ERA through 105 innings and 15 starts (yes, Tom Gorzelanny was a starter as recently as one full season ago. Let that sink in for a minute). But in 2012 he all but won them over with his drastically improved performance.
The 30 year old posted a sub-three ERA for the first time in his major league career last season, his 2.88 mark nearly half his career ERA of 4.41. His batting average against (.242) was the second lowest it’s ever been, and was substantially lower than his career average .264.
Gorzelanny’s stats were middle-of-the-road compared to the rest of the Nationals bullpen, but remember that that bullpen was among the best in baseball. Gorzelanny’s talent was absolutely a contributing factor to the solidness of the Nationals relief staff, which ranked in the top 10 in baseball and third in the NL by ERA.
Next Year: Because he posted such solid numbers last year, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Gorzelanny to a two-year $6 million contract in December. Leaving a left-handed hole in the Nationals’ bullpen to fill one on the lefty-lacking Milwaukee staff. Also, the uncertainty of the Brewers’ starting rotation may afford Gorzelanny the opportunity to be a starter again, a position he prefers.
Up Next: #33 Edwin Jackson