Miguel Gonzalez's success with the Orioles has been baffling. He showed up out of nowhere and wasn't expected to provide anything, yet he's been pretty good at preventing runs. Since his arrival in 2012, he has thrown the third-most innings for the O's (420.2) and posted the second-lowest ERA (3.49) among starters, despite mediocre peripheral numbers and a FIP of 4.63 in 69 starts.
Other Camden Depot writers have established that Gonzalez has been an enigma, but it may be surprising that Gonzalez is the only player from 1901-2014 who has started at least 60 percent of his games and has thrown more than 400 innings with an ERA+ greater than or equal to 110 and a FIP greater than or equal to 4.50.
Others have been close to Gonzalez's feat. The closest was Justin Thompson, who had an ERA+ of 118 and a FIP of 4.41 in 648.2 innings. Bill Walker, Jose Rosado, Wilson Alvarez, Monte Pearson, Wade Miller, and Mike Sirotka were also in the same neighborhood, but not as close.
For now, Gonzalez stands alone, which is both impressive and worrisome. How long can he keep it going? It's unlikely that he will continue to succeed at this rate. Regardless, he has been a fantastic find for the Orioles, is only 30 years old, and is under team control through 2017. He has been a tremendous value, and it's been fun trying to figure out how exactly he's been able to thrive. It's certainly a welcome change from watching talented prospects fail.
Photo via Keith Allison