Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Starting Pitchers

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Oct 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning in game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

B+. . Pitcher. Baltimore Orioles. MIGUEL GONZALEZ

Other than Steve Pearce, is there any Baltimore Orioles player that deserves a raise more than Miguel Gonzalez? At $529,000 he gave the Birds 159 innings of 3.23 ERA pitching.

Though Gonzo’s WHIP is just a fraction higher than Chen or Tillman, his ERA is a bit lower – demonstrating a bend without breaking capacity that shows he is really a good pitcher, versus a thrower.

Indeed, for Gonzalez to be effective, he has to hit his spots. His stuff is not rare, so he has to pitch wisely for success, and his does. Along with hitting his spots all around the strike zone, Gonzalez is adept at changing speeds.

While all these changes of spots and speeds is happening, what is not altering in his internal composure. If there ever was a perfect temperament for a pitcher, Miguel has it.

The Orioles moved him around a bit, alternating days between starts and even sending him down a couple of times simply to make roster changes work out. Gonzalez took it all perfectly in stride.

For the first three months of the season, Gonzalez went 4-5 with a 4.56 ERA. I was ready to see him thrown into the bullpen for long relief in order to bring Gausman into the rotation. As it turned out, it was Jimenez who had to leave the rotation.

But for the final three months of the season, Gonzo was 6-4 with a 2.09 ERA. His starts were critical to the excellent finish the Orioles had and to their AL East Championship.

Let’s give him a “B+” for the season, stating it would be a perfect “A” if maximizing natural talent was factored into the equation.