07 July 2012

Miguel Gonzalez: By the Numbers

Just a short piece on Miguel Gonzalez' night.

With three fifths of the Orioles' Opening Day rotation solidifying Norfolk's rotation these days, the Orioles were scrambling around for options to replace them.  One option, Jamie Moyer, likely would have been last night's starter if he had not been impatient enough to opt out of his deal and sign on with the Blue Jays only to be tormented by the long ball in the Pacific Coast League (not the best teetering career move).  Last night, the Orioles turned to Miguel Gonzalez.  Gonzalez has moved around quite a bit during his career.  He suffered injury issues in the Angels system and lost two years, was selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 by the Red Sox and stumbled, tried to keep his career alive in Mexico, and now is throwing for the Orioles.

Gonzalez showed five pitches last night: four seamer, two seamer, curve, slider, and change up.  He depended on his four seamer and his slider predominantly.  Over half of his pitches were four seamer.  Gonzalez was able to put them in for strikes, but he did not overpower or trick pitchers with them.  He threw in the low 90s (92.4 average) with about 70% thrown for strikes.  Of the 12 four seamers that batters swung at, they made contact every single time.  Gonzalez was able to work his slider for swings and misses.  Out of 21 sliders, 14 came in for strikes with 5 swing/misses and only 2 balls put into play.  His change, curve, and two seamer were more change of pace pitches.

There was some concern over stamina as Gonzalez has spent much of the year and much of his career as a reliever.  He seemed fine with his velocity through 80 pitches.  His last inning saw his fastball drop about 2 mph.  If he remains in the rotation, then he will need to be able to going about 15 pitches longer with full effect. 

The graph below gives some indication of how his fastball changed over the course of the night:

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