Darin Gorski pitches well but does anyone notice?

The Maytag repairman has nothing on the Darin Gorski fan club.

The story goes that Maytags were so dependable that their repairmen got lonely since they had nothing to do. As the driver of the Gorski fan club bus, I keep looking to see if anyone has taken any of the seats behind me and see nothing but tumbleweeds rolling down the aisle.

FanGraphs, John Sickels, Baseball America, Amazin’ Avenue and Bullpen Banter did not list Gorski as one of the club’s top 10 prospects heading into the season. FG listed 15 players and did not mention him. Sickels had 25 players before including Gorski in a grouping called “others.” Perhaps the worst was Gorski being ranked 36th on AA’s top 50 list.

In addition to being ignored as a top prospect, each of these lists had numerous pitchers ranked ahead of him. By now these players are overly familiar to every Mets fan.

You know Wheeler, Montero,
Lara and Noah.
Mazzoni and Fulmer
Robles and Ynoa.
But do you recall the most neglected prospect of all?

Until this point, Gorski’s success in the minors has either been dismissed or denied and it’s hard to tell which one stings more. When he put up an 11-3 mark with a 2.08 ERA in 2011 it was, the experts told us, simply because he was old for his league. Last year when he finished in the top 20 in the Eastern League in both innings (18th, 139.2) and strikeouts (8th, 118) and had a 12-game stretch at the end of the year where he went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA, nobody paid any attention or thought it important in the slightest.

Perhaps the worst came early this year when Gorski was sidelined with an injury. In a note detailing how many of the club’s top prospects were on the shelf, I was able to find injury information on all but one player. No one thought Gorski was important enough to report his injury. It wasn’t until after he returned that we found out it was a shoulder injury.

After starting the year in Triple-A, Gorski was sent back to Double-A when he resumed pitching this year. With Binghamton, he’s 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA and has 9 BB and 29 Ks in 26.2 IP. Noah Syndergaard puts up a 2.16 ERA in five starts at Double-A and he’s on the fast track to the majors. Gorski puts up equivalent numbers and it doesn’t even merit a shrug among the prospect hounds.

The Mets have both quality and depth among pitching prospects and it’s somewhat understandable how Gorski has gotten lost in the shuffle. He did not go to a big school (Kutztown St.), was not a high pick (7th round) and did not experience success in the minors until 2011. He’s not overpowering and no one would ever describe his motion to the plate as pretty.

But at the same time, no one should deny the success that he’s had at Double-A. Lefties who hit 90 and can throw three pitches for strikes with command do not exactly grow on trees. He has the repertoire to be a starter and he can pitch deep into games. Last year he had 16 Quality Starts. This year, because of the injury and then weather-shortened games once he returned, Gorski has only 1 QS. However, it came in his last outing, when he went six innings, gave up three hits and struck out six.

Given how the current manager loves lefty relievers, no doubt some will suggest this is the future home for Gorski. It’s never a good idea to place a player in a role smaller than he’s capable of performing adequately at the major league level. There’s simply not enough pitching to go around and squander assets. Unlike Robert Carson, Gorski has had success in the high minors as a starting pitcher.

Perhaps just as importantly, Gorski has not displayed the typical platoon split one associates with a lefty pitcher. This year he’s limited RHB to a .512 OPS while LHB have a .956 OPS against him. Thankfully, that does not scream LOOGY to anyone. He should continue to be used now and thought of in the future as a starting pitcher.

It’s likely that the Mets will have five starting pitchers better than Gorski the rest of the decade. This is what’s known as a good problem to have. The ultimate value Gorski provides the Mets may very well come as part of a trade. And that’s fine since one of the functions of the farm system is to develop guys who are good enough for other organizations to want to acquire.

In the meantime, let’s continue to monitor Gorski’s progress this year. And if he puts up numbers that would make a prospect-watcher drool if they came from one of his more-heralded organization mates, perhaps you could find it in your hearts to give him some love, too.

It would make Gordon Jump and any of the other Maytag repairmen on the Gorski bus happy to have some company.

16 comments for “Darin Gorski pitches well but does anyone notice?

  1. July 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Brian –

    Gorski is like the Alan Dykstra of the Mets minor league pitchers. He was invisible when he was here in Savannah.

    • July 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Well, it’s not like you *want* to get noticed when you put up a 4.58 ERA and 1.474 WHIP like Gorski did in Savannah.

      The Dykstra comparison is interesting. If you asked most fans about Dykstra, they would say he deserves a promotion. If you ask most fans about Gorski, they’d say something about him having a good year two years ago but doing nothing since.

    • Yazzy
      November 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      nI have also seen Gorski pitch, and think he has an amazing set of pitches, and he know how to use his four pitches to fool batters much like a young Tom Glavine. On other blogs I have posted that I am a big Darin Gorski fan, and I believe he is a real prospect that the Mets have unfortunately shunted to the side. Darin’s addition to the rotation would be a very sound move for the cash strapped team. I believe the front office does not possess the insight to promote both Gorski and Montero because they see Gorski through horse blinders, and they want to trade Montero for outfielders. These would be two huge mistakes. But hey, I would have had Wilmer Flores play winter ball to improve his ability to play both 1st, 2nd and 3rd but the front office screwed up on that opportunity too. I also would have had Eric Young, Jr. start practicing SS and let him be a super sub and just sign Rafael Furcal as a Mets affordable free agent that also mans SS. Have you seen the front office do that? No is the bad answer to that question. If I was in charge I would have also had both Satin and Lutz play winter ball to see if they could handle it.

  2. NormE
    July 18, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Brian, loved your Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer rendition. You reference Gordon White, but since I’m older than you, I think back to Jesse White.
    One of the best problems a team can have is too many young pitching prospects. Unfortunately, someone gets lost in the shuffle.
    As for moving a starter to the BP, haven’t the Cards done that at times with young pitchers? If they’re major league-ready they move them into the rotation when a spot opens. Adam Wainwright comes to mind.

    • July 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Certainly Earl Weaver comes to mind with breaking pitchers in via the bullpen. Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana started out in the pen, too.

      But the Mets figure to have Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Montero, Syndergaard, Hefner, Gee all ahead of Gorski in the pecking order. His chances of getting 20 starts in a season with the Mets seem about nil.

      And thanks for recognizing the Rudolph theme! I have no idea how one pronounces “Ynoa” but I like to pretend that it does in fact rhyme with Noah. I’m sure someone will burst my bubble and tell me otherwise. Hey, killjoys, keep it to yourself!

      • Jerry Grote
        July 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      • Jerry Grote
        July 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        ……..[torres remains in the corner, left on the island of misfit toys, looking at his microscopic ERA and wondering when he’ll get the love]

  3. Joe Vasile
    July 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

    “That doesn’t scream LOOGY to anyone.”

    Except Terry Collins.

  4. Michael von Graevenitz
    July 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I know of Darin Gorski because he comes from Lancaster County, PA.,where I live. You are right. The only mention he gets is in our Sunday paper in the sports section along with all the other county residents who play pro ball. Not great numbers. When Chris Heisey debuted a few years ago for Cincy, ironically against the Mets, he made the six o’clock news here. Maybe Darin needs to step up to get noticed.

  5. Name
    July 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Brian, you got me all excited for nothing. After reading your article i took a stroll to B-R, and his stats certainly doesn’t warrant the glowing article that you wrote.

    He started his career very poorly, put together a dominant 2011, then was mediocre in AA in 2012. He bombed in AAA this year (yes i get it’s Vegas but no one should be that bad) and you are all excited again because of 6 games at AA? Plus he’s already 25 and you can see why no one expects major things from this kid.

    • July 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      He had an outstanding year in 2011
      His 2012 season was better than anyone wants to give him credit for
      He’s pitched extremely well in 2013 after returning from his injury

      As for his 2012 season, He had one horrible stretch in the middle of the year where he allowed 15 ER in 13 IP when they had him doing a piggyback start and made him do a relief appearance

      If we remove those 13 IP from Gorski’s line, we see a guy with a 2.96 ERA in 124.2 innings.

      Is that someone to get excited about? Not in the Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, Syndergaard sense. But can that type of pitching help a ball club? Absolutely. There’s a lot of worth in developing back end SP and I see Gorski being able to fit that bill. The comparison I made earlier was Mark Redman and I still see that being a good comp.

      If you could get a #5 SP from a guy who a respected site ranked as the #36-best prospect coming into the season, I would call that an outstanding haul and something about which to be excited.

      • Name
        July 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        “Is that someone to get excited about? Not in the Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, Syndergaard sense.”

        I agree with what you wrote here… just that your original article made it seem like we were all missing on a hidden precious gem, but in reality there are probably numerous other players in the minor leagues who fit the same “wait and see and hope for the best” profile as Gorski. Hopefully you are right about this kid but I would think that history is not on his side.

  6. Metsense
    July 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Brian, as I wrote in response to David Groveman’s piece, I also think Gorski to be a top 20 prospect so I’m already on the bus. I also think that Dykstra is a late bloomer and deserves a chance. Jeff Walters has also put up some nice numbers. If a player puts up good AAA numbers they deserve a shot because by that level their production should start to count more than potential. Let’s see what they can do at AAA.

  7. July 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I’ll try to remember to mention him on Monday

  8. Ike
    July 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Just so you know there may actually be more of us who do know who Darin is and what he has done than you think, I know I’m not the only Met fan who follows the minors or goes to their games when possible to see the kids we have coming or might be chips for another player but if Darin keeps putting up good numbers you know as well as I do he WILL be noticed by someone even if its not our sleeping front office.

  9. za
    July 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This guy, at his best, is a Pat Misch clone. If he winds up on the big league club, it would be damning of the Mets’ situation moreso than praise for Gorski.

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