Tom Gorzelanny Would Rather Be With Milwaukee Brewers Than Face Them

By Michael Terrill
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers’ recently signed left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny is thrilled to be a part of the organization. After playing in the National League Central division for six years, he has taken the old saying “if you can’t beat them, join them” literally.

“I never really pitched that well against them,” Gorzelanny said. “It wasn’t much fun facing that lineup. I’m glad I won’t have to face Braun and those guys.”

Gorzelanny inked a two-year contract worth $6 million a few days ago. It was a win-win situation because the Brewers desperately needed a talented left-handed relief pitcher in the bullpen while Gorzelanny wanted to be back in the Midwest while also playing for a team filled with potential.

Not to mention, Gorzelanny has pitched in the NL his entire career and knows how powerful Milwaukee’s top ranked offense truly is. In 16 games, 12 of which were starts, the 30-year-old went 4-4 with a 5.08 earned run average against the Brewers while he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. Even worse, in seven appearances at Miller Park, he posted a 7.63 ERA and allowed nine home runs in 30 2/3 innings. This should not come as much of a surprise considering Milwaukee is one of the top home run hitting teams, especially at home.

Milwaukee will utilize Gorzelanny as one of their top relievers. The Illinois native will not only be used with effectiveness against left-handed batters but he will also be able to pitch complete innings due to his superior ability to get out right-handed batters. In fact, his opponent batting averages are almost identical as left-handers hit .237 off of him this past season while right-handers batted .245.

The eight-year veteran posted the best statistical numbers of his career this past season with the Washington Nationals. Known as a starting pitcher, the Nationals decided to use Gorzelanny strictly in the bullpen and it did wonders for the team, as well as, the pitcher. The left-hander went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA, 62 strikeouts, one save and nine holds in 72 innings.

Gorzelanny could be very effective in the setup role to get the ball cleanly to closer John Axford. It is unknown if the Brewers will hand him that job specifically or use him more in the sixth or seventh inning. However, there is no doubt he will at least get his chance in spring training.

Gorzelanny will use a top-notch changeup mixed in with the fastball to pitch successfully against right-handed hitters. He will use almost his entire arsenal that includes two different fastballs, a slider and a curveball against left-handed batters, but will never show them the changeup.

In 193 career appearances (111 starts), Gorzelanny is 44-45 with a 4.41 ERA and 568 strikeouts. However, as a reliever he is 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA, two holds and 16 saves.

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