In the beginning of February, we ran a poll here at the site on who should be the team’s fifth starter, assuming equal health and Spring Training results. The overwhelming choice among the three candidates was Robert Gsellman, who received 66% of the popular vote. Gsellman had great results when pressed into service late last year. And while it wasn’t a huge sample size, Gsellman did have strong peripherals, too. Here are our individual projections for him in 2017:

Dalton Allsion 130 3.22 120 30 10 3.05 75.0
Joe Barbieri 112 4.11 94 32 13 3.89 72.4
John Fox 170 3.50 160 52 13 3.23 74.5
Charlie Hangley 155 2.96 110 22 10 3.05 73.2
Brian Joura 178 3.21 150 47 12 3.18 74.5
Mike Koehler 100 3.85 78 39 11 4.24 75.0
Matt Netter 120 3.85 102 51 13 4.18 78.0
Jim O’Malley 141 3.74 129 45 5 2.79 73.2
Rob Rogan 107 3.85 95 36 10 3.65 74.0
Mike Ryan 145 3.43 130 50 12 3.52 80.5
Chris Walendin 150 3.11 148 47 16 3.55 75.0

We all expect Gsellman to see significant action in 2017, although there is a wide range of opinion on exactly how much he’ll pitch. Rob and Mike K. believe he’ll throw between 100-107 innings, while John joins me in thinking he’ll reach 170. Ten of the 11 members of the panel forecast an ERA under four, while Charlie sees it squeaking under three. Joe, at 4.11, has the most bearish look and most teams would be quite happy to get that from their fifth starter.

Here’s our official group forecast:


Gsellman thrived in part last year because of an elevated strand rate. Overall, it was 81.3 percent while as a starting pitcher it was a 79.1 rate. We see him again being better than average in this department, but with a 74.5 rate, much closer to last year’s MLB average of 72.9 percent. Now let’s see what the computer models project for Gsellman:

Mets360 137 3.50 120 41 11 3.39
Steamer 111 4.19 86 38 13 4.22
ZiPS 155 4.12 124 47 18 4.08

We’re almost always the most optimistic forecast of the bunch and unsurprisingly, we’re even more optimistic than usual when it comes to a rookie. The computer models see nearly an identical ERA, nearly three-quarters of a run higher than what we project. Encouragingly, they also see him pitching a fair number of innings, with ZiPS forecasting 18 more innings than us.

The top comp for Gsellman from ZiPS is Steve Fireovid. Like Gsellman, Fireovid had great success in his MLB debut. But he never again got much of a shot in the majors, having a few more cups of coffee. Instead, he became one of the top minor league hurlers of his era and pitched well into his 30s. He even wrote a book about his experiences – “The 26th Man: One Minor League Pitcher’s Pursuit of a Dream.” Fireovid pitched 13 years in Triple-A, where he accumulated a 105-81 mark. Overall, he won 139 games in the minors and 142 as a professional.

5 comments on “Mets360 2017 projections: Robert Gsellman

  • Jimmy P

    This kid has the opportunity of a lifetime right now.

    It’s time to kick down that door.

    It might be mere semantics, but I do think it’s inappropriate for the Mets to put Wheeler in a “competition” at a time when he’s returning from TJ surgery. Not that he doesn’t have to produce, just that he should be handled first with the priority of slowly, carefully, cautiously establishing full health before he’s set in opposition to any other pitcher. I hope that’s the nuanced message. It’s possible he might have to put in some work in AAA just to get his sea legs back under him.

    I love Wheeler, and I’m taking the long view.

    • Brian Joura

      My forecast for Gsellman is to do just that.

      But even if he turns in what the computer models think, that’s still pretty good. The two of them averaged together spit out 133 IP, 4.16 ERA.

      There were 69 pitchers in the NL to throw at least 100 IP last year. Vince Velasquez had the 35th-best ERA with a 4.12 mark in 131 IP. If Gsellman matches that, he’s a high-end #3 SP by ERA and a high-end #4 SP by innings.

      • Metsense

        When I rank starting pitchers I dropped down to 70 innings pitched for 2016 which resulted into 76 pitchers (or 5 pitchers per team X 15 teams) and then form a l ranking and placement for each pitching category that I am comparing. In 2016 I used 30 innings for NL relief pitchers which worked out to 112 pitchers (or around 7 per team). .In is just my way to wrap my head around a statistical #1 or #4 starter.
        Road trip planned, SAL All Star game, Columbia, SC June 20th. Tickets on sale now. My wife bought us seats behind home for a Valentine’s Day present.

        • Brian Joura

          Since FG separates out relief appearances if you click on starters, this is not an issue. FWIW, lowering the innings does not change the rankings of the combined computer models that I put up earlier.

          Enjoy the All-Star game!

  • Metsense

    168 IP, 3.21 ERA, 159 K, 49 BB, 15 HR, 3.41 FIP 78.0% LOB
    In a small sample of 41 innings he exploded on the scene. If he can maintain that 41 innings for 168 innings , he would rank among NL starters as around 6th in ERA, 4th in FIP and 30th in WHIP. Extrapolating his 2016 numbers would rank him as one of the 15 best starters in the NL. I think Gsellman can be one of the 15 best in the NL and the Mets will have another great young pitcher for their rotation.

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