Baltimore Orioles: The Ever Consistent Miguel Gonzalez


Jun 9, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (50) pitches during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles have a rare case of great consistency in starter Miguel Gonzalez. Pitching consistency is difficult – ask Chris Tillman! Or Rick Porcello. Or CC Sabathia. Or better yet, ask those fans. Or even closer to home, how about Ubaldo Jimenez?

Looking at the statistics of Miguel Gonzalez as a regular starter over his almost three full years (in four seasons) with the Orioles is to see a rather flat line of numbers from year to year. A flat line – sorta like his pulse.

But you have to like that in a starter. He’s not an All-Star, but so what? Gonzalez is a great middle of the rotation starter. The guy gives you a chance to win almost every time he pitches. His personal won-loss record stands currently at 35-25. In games he has started for the Orioles since becoming a regular in July of 2012, the Birds are 47-34 in those contests – for a winning percentage of .593.  The team’s overall winning percentage in that same time frame is .557.  So the O’s have a better-than-average chance of winning a game with Gonzalez on the mound than with other starters.

For a look at his steady numbers over four seasons, here they are. The final two categories are batting average against, and walks and hits per innings pitched – both are, over a long period of time, telling indicators of a pitcher’s effectiveness. Gonzalez’ numbers in all of these categories, though not totally spectacular, are all very solid and consistent.


The challenge about evaluating pitching statistics is that they can become very skewed very quickly if a pitcher has a couple of nightmare starts. For example, Chris Tillman’s numbers in 2014 would have been practically Cy Young caliber if only he could have dropped out his three worst starts. But Gonzalez practically never has a total meltdown game. Each year he is consistent with per-9-innings totals:  home runs – 1.3, walks – 2.9, and strikeouts, 6.5 (although this has grown to 7.3 so far this season, demonstrating some better put-away pitches).

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But He’s On The DL!

Yes, Miguel Gonzalez was put on the 15-day disabled list today with a groin injury suffered two days ago. All that is being said about this would seem to indicate that it is not a devastating issue. He would probably only need to miss one start to deal with it, but the Orioles cannot afford to not have a full pitching arsenal. And Mike Wright has been called back to the team.

Gonzalez had this same injury in 2012 and only missed one start in August. It was a total of 11 days between the starts. His first game back was against the Yankees, and he shut them out on four hits over seven innings.

Here are his 2012 numbers before and after the groin injury …

2012 startsGamesIPERERAWHIP
Before injury954.2243.951.390
After injury639112.541.051

It can be seen that he actually came back and pitched better after the 2012 groin injury. So there is every reason to believe that Miguel Gonzalez is going to be fine and be able to contribute at his high level of consistency for the remainder of the season.

Next: Chaz Roe is excelling in the O's bullpen