Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Gio Gonzalez
Position: Starting Pitcher
2013 was looking to be another Cy Young type season for Gio Gonzalez. He came off a 2012 season where he won 21 games, and posted the lowest ERA of his career at 2.89. It was his first season in the National League so he was expected to make adjustments to stay on top of the National League.
He barely missed get 200 innings in 2012, so it was expected that he would hit that plateau in 2013. Gio has been a gamer everywhere he has been, so why expect anything else from him in his second season in a Nats uni.
Gonzalez had a down year compared to past seasons as he won his least amount of games in a 30 start season in his career. His 11-8 season isn’t what you expect out of him. His major problem came from giving up the big fly a little too often, as he gave up 17 on the season. That is tied for the most in his career.
The Nats run support wasn’t great all season long, so it put more pressure on him to go out and throw gems. It doesn’t matter what level of baseball you are at, that is hard to do every time out. He had multiple starts of giving up one or two runs and getting the no decision because the offense couldn’t score enough runs.
In June, his best month of the season, he gave up eight total earned runs in six starts and came away with two wins and four no decisions. That can hurt the mental stability of a pitcher, knowing you had good enough stuff to win, but your offense couldn’t get the job done.
He had one of his highest swing and miss rates of his career at 9.4% but when hitter connected it hurt. He gave up the most amount of runs he has ever given up, in large part due to a couple really bad starts.
Overall it wasn’t a bad season on the bump for Gio. When he was on the offense wasn’t and he had a couple games, like all pitchers do, that got away from him.
2014 should be promising for the 28 year old left-hander. He will have something to prove after his worst season statistic wise of his career. He should get another 30 starts and eclipse 200 innings. He is a work horse and it shows by the way he pitches.
Having Strasburg at the top of the rotation, that will only make Gio work harder. He is the type of pitcher that wants to out do everyone else. His home run count should come down, which will help along the way as he still learns how to pitch in the National League. He will have to completely adjust to not having to go full throttle threw the entire order, as many NL teams have a bad hitting catcher hitting eighth and then the pitcher. That being sad he has to know when to turn it up as well.
The steamer has him getting less innings at just over 180, but they are predicting it based on his 2013 season, which was really just a down year. Who knows, they could be right, but seeing him pitch plenty in 2012, I don’t see him having a mediocre season like in 2013.