View Full Version : Gorzelanny sent to Minors

03-18-2009, 02:13 PM

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates announced two cuts from big league camp early on Wednesday morning, and one comes as a bit of a surprise.

Left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny and outfielder Jose Tabata were optioned on Tuesday, whittling down the total number of players in big league camp to 43. For Tabata, one of the key prospects to come over from the Yankees in the Xavier Nady deal last July, it was inevitable. For Gorzelanny, who first established himself in the Pirates' rotation in 2006, it must have come as a shock.

The 2003 second-round pick declined to comment after receiving the news he had been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Gorzelanny had been competing for a rotation spot this spring, but had not pitched well. In four starts, he allowed seven earned runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out four.

Gorzelanny established himself in 2006, when he had a 3.79 ERA over 11 starts. In his first full season, the southpaw won 14 games to lead the Pirates, and his 3.88 ERA was 15th in the National League. He made 32 starts in 2007 and topped the 200-inning mark.

He took a step backward in 2008, going 6-9 with a 6.66 ERA over 21 starts and 105 1/3 innings. He was sent to Triple-A in July to work things out, came back in late August, pitched ineffectively, then got shut down in September with a finger injury. Command has been an issue, with 68 walks in 201 2/3 innings in 2007, and 70 free passes in just 105 1/3 last season.

With Gorzelanny gone, that creates a touch more clarity in the competition for rotation spots. Paul Maholm is a lock, with Zach Duke and Ian Snell, who just finished a successful stint in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico, more or less sure things. That leaves the final two spots in the rotation. Ross Ohlendorf has pitched very well this spring and could be the No. 4 starter, with Jeff Karstens and Virgil Vasquez perhaps the two most likely candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation. Vasquez didn't help his cause with a poor outing against the Yankees on Tuesday night in Tampa.

Tabata has been nothing but impressive since coming to the Pirates organization last summer. He's been optioned to Double-A Altoona, where he hit .348 over 22 games. This spring in big league camp, he opened many eyes by hitting .407 (11-for-27) over 11 games.

Suprising news as the rotation picture just got murkier.

03-18-2009, 10:40 PM
actually i think this makes the rotation clearer.

The way I saw it Maholm, Snell and Duke all had spots and Ohlendorf, Karstens, and Gorzellany were fighting for the other two.

Really the only challenger to those five left is Virgil Vasquez and I dont think he is going to beat out any of them.

03-19-2009, 01:20 AM
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I want to see this guy revive his career. Hopefully he can get down to AAA, work his kinks out, and get back up here and do some damage.

03-21-2009, 10:21 AM
Gorzelanny isn't a big league pitcher. He just isn't very good. I doubt he ever makes it back up here and makes a big difference.

03-21-2009, 12:25 PM
He'll get traded to the Braves and become an ace.