The Colorado Rockies will probably take years to recover from the Nolan Arenado trade, but Austin Gomber will help them try to help them out in that regard. The southpaw is off to a strong start in Spring Training and will try to help fans forget about the best third baseman in team history. He certainly presents an interesting option for a team that has often struggled with pitching acquisitions.
Rockies Austin Gomber Looking Sharp
It’s important to note that, while spring stats are basically meaningless, they can occasionally illuminate something promising. That could be the case for the 27-year-old Gomber. While the 6’5″ left-handed pitcher is no longer a prospect, there is reason to expect solid production. He is a former fourth-round selection with only 104 major league innings on his arm. That is neither a harmful pedigree nor a high workload. Gomber was often buried on a deep St. Louis Cardinals farm system that has excelled at churning out capable pitching in recent years. His lack of action shouldn’t be any concern at this point.
The left-hander certainly seems to have taken an aggressive approach with his new organization. Gomber leads all Rockies pitchers in innings pitched and strikeouts. He sports a 0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in seven innings of work across three starts. The Rockies lefty will never blow people away with a fastball that averages just 92.5 mph, but he seems to have no trouble avoiding bats. His 8.4 K/9 rate nearly leads the team’s stable of starting pitchers. It’s obvious that something in his delivery works for now as he’s not allowing much hard contact in spring either. Only two of Gomber’s pitches against the San Diego Padres had exit velocities above 100 mph.
What To Expect From Austin Gomber in 2021
If he didn’t before, Gomber definitely has the inside path as the Rockies fifth starter. He has outperformed other starting options including Chi Chi Gonzalez and Ryan Castellani. If he does win a rotation spot, the important thing for the newest Colorado arm will be limiting flyballs that turn into home runs in the Denver air. His career home run/flyball rate is 7.8 percent. That is lower than all Rockies’ pitchers in 2020, but the Coors Field effect might cause it to spike. Gomber has occasionally seen HR/FB rates at or above 11 percent as recently as 2019. His performance over the next few weeks will be vital as the team stretches him out. He will probably make at least two or three more starts over the remainder of Spring Training leading up to Opening Day.
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Players Mentioned: Nolan Arenado, Austin Gomber, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Ryan Castellani.