Washington Nationals: Projecting the production of the starting rotation

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg /
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Gio Gonzalez

4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 2.5 WAR

Now that Jayson Werth is no longer with the team, Gio Gonzalez is the third-longest tenured Nat. Despite his successful career in a Nats uniform, he has been very erratic at times.

However, Gonzalez finally put it all together in 2017, pitching to a 2.96 ERA and leading the staff in innings pitched.

Despite his terrific 2017 campaign, FanGraphs projects quite a bit of regression for Gonzalez. According to the FanGraphs Steamer projection, his ERA will fall over a point.

Unfortunately, this is not completely preposterous.

Gonzalez had a great season last year, but he was likely the beneficiary of great defense and a little luck. His FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) was 3.93, almost an entire point above his ERA.

With this in mind, Gonzalez’s projected 4.17 ERA does not seem too far off. He will also be 33 at the season’s end, so Father Time should begin to kick in soon.

That’s not to say that Gonzalez will not be reliable in 2018; his trademarked curveball has enabled him to have a long, productive career. He should have another solid season, in what could be his final year in DC, but some regression can be expected.

As a complementary member of the rotation, a 4.17 ERA would be just fine.