Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Should the Yankees Sign Gio Gonzalez?

The New York Yankees lost Luis Severino for at least a few weeks to open the season after the right-hander was scratched from his spring debut with shoulder discomfort. The diagnosis was inflammation in his right rotator cuff and the cure, the Yankees hope anyway, is two weeks of rest and some anti-inflammatories. Immediately following the news, the focus shifted to whether or not the Yankees should add another pitcher, namely either Dallas Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez. While I think many are well-versed in what Keuchel brings to the table already, I think most don’t truly know what the team would be acquiring if they were to go out and sign Gonzalez on a one-year (presumably) deal. How would Gio pitch in the American League after splitting time with Washington and Milwaukee in 2018? The stats suggest that he may not fare so well for the Bronx Bombers…

First, let’s look at Gio’s career stats inside of Yankee Stadium. Gio has pitched three games inside Yankee Stadium III, all three of them starts spanning 17.2 innings pitched. Combined, Gio has allowed 13 hits and nine runs to the Yankees, all of them earned, on one home run with nine walks. Gio did strike out 16 batters for almost a batter struck out per innings pitched, but a WHIP of 1.245 and a 4.58 ERA leaves much to be desires. Sure, the sample size is small, but the sample size expands a bit when you look at what he has done in other key American League ballparks.

LAA-Angel Stad324.05633.1291615313301.2608.1
DET-Comerica Pk0232.4025.01619185343.8007.2
CHW-US Cellular033.98320.11610919231.23010.2
BOS-Fenway Pk305.08528.1281716415291.5189.2
CLE-Progressive401.13640.02865216391.1008.8 Colis21153.7347277.1244125115311382561.3778.3
BAL-Camden Yards233.15745.2471816517311.4016.1
SEA-Safeco Fld223.48844.0411917127521.54510.6
TOR-Rogers Ctr135.70423.2201515311191.3107.2
MIN-Target Field111.50212.074206111.0838.3
TEX-Rangers Bpk124.29521.026141057181.5717.7
NYY-Yankee Stad3114.58317.2139919161.2458.2

Now, you must remember that Gio did much of his damage in the American League as a much younger pitcher with the Oakland Athletics. Whether that works for him or against him at this point in his career remains to be seen, but it is worth mentioning that Gio’s first four seasons in Oakland resulted in a 38-32 record with a 3.93 ERA, 4.06 FIP, and a 1.410 WHIP. Meanwhile, in the National League, Gio posted a total of 89 wins and 65 losses with a 3.59 ERA, 3.45 FIP and 1.276 WHIP with the Nationals and Brewers. Gio was a much better pitcher in the National League and that should scare you if you are a fan of the New York Yankees signing him.

I’m not saying that Gio would get lit up in the Bronx, although he may, but I am not saying that he would be that big of an upgrade either. Remember, Gio has missed all of spring training up to date and that’s not nothing. At this point would Gio, at least until Severino returns anyway, be that much better than what the Yankees have in Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German? Honestly, I think not. If Severino were having a much more serious injury that we could pinpoint RIGHT NOW, like a Tommy John surgery for instance, then the argument could be made that Gio would be better over the course of a season than what the Yankees already have, but right now we just can’t do that. I wouldn’t feel comfortable even suggesting that.

In closing, stick with what we have and ride the wave. If the Severino shoulder injury becomes more serious, then you react, but right now I feel like it would be foolish to go out and get a guy like Gio, Keuchel, or anyone outside of the organization for what could amount to just a couple missed starts. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think that I am.

What say you?

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

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