In the first half of the season Gonzalez looked like a monster with 12 wins, 118 K and a tidy 2.92 ERA over 101.2 innings. However things have turned ugly in his two starts since the break, allowing 8 ER over 9.1 innings. Now, the question facing fantasy owners is if this is just a small bump in the road of if it is a sign of bigger things to come.
First, let’s look at his overall numbers for the year:
129 Strikeouts (10.46 K/9)
45 Walks (3.65 BB/9)
71.9% Strand Rate
The strikeouts have been impressive and it is not a surprise to see them jump up with the move to the National League. Can we realistically expect hm to continue being this good? Considering his nearly strikeout per inning mark a year ago (8.78 K/9) it is not impossible.
Any fears of him suddenly allowing a lot of home runs away from Oakland have been answered as well. At least, we thought they had. He currently has a 7.3% HR/FB and a 0.49 HR/9, both career bests. However, things have been turning a little bit of late.
In his last start against the Mets he allowed a pair of home runs. After allowing 1 HR over his first 14 starts he has allowed 5 long balls in his past five starts. In other words, things are quietly starting to turn and not in a good way.
The other thing to look at is his BABIP, which may appear reasonable but is a bit of an illusion. His .272 mark is unsustainable considering how hard he has been hit this season. His 24.4% line drive rate is a career worst and has been consistently poor:
- April – 23.5%
- May – 12.3%
- June – 29.5%
- July – 31.5%
His overall mark is the fifth worst in the Majors and, unless he can right the ship quickly, the rest of his impressive numbers are going to come tumbling down.
Obviously, if you are in need of strikeouts I wouldn’t be so quick to dump him. However, the underlying numbers are pointing to a serious regression. Considering what you can likely get for him, I wouldn’t hesitate to cash in and move on for the remainder of the year.
What about you? Is Gonzalez a pitcher you would be willing to part with? Why or why not?