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Thomas Stephen Gorzelanny (born July 12, 1982 in Evergreen Park, Illinois) is a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. Gorzelanny, a 6'2" left-handed starting pitcher, is currently in his fourth MLB season. He is often referred to as "Gorz" or "Gorzo" by fans, media, and coaches.
Tom grew up in Chicago, IL, graduating from Marist High School in 2000. He was drafted in the 38th round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox but chose to play college baseball rather than immediately pursuing a professional career. He and his wife, Lindsey, have one son, Gavin.
After graduating from Marist High School in Chicago, Gorzelanny played junior college ball at Triton College before playing out his college career at the University of Kansas. He spent the 2002 summer playing for the St. Cloud River Bats of the Northwoods League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft with the 45th overall pick.
Minor League CareerEdit
Gorzelanny spent most of the 2005 season with the Double-A Altoona Curve, but made his Major League debut with the Pirates in September. He struggled in Pittsburgh, allowing eight runs in six innings. At the beginning of the 2006 season, he was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. Gorzelanny was selected to play for the US team in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game, but was ineligible due to being called up by the Pirates. On June 29, 2006, the Pirates called Gorzelanny up to replace Oliver Pérez in the starting rotation. He made his season debut on July 1 against the Detroit Tigers.
Major League CareerEdit
Gorzelanny was penciled in as a starter with the Pirates in 2007, earning a regular spot in the rotation. On July 1, 2007, Gorzelanny was selected as one of the five players in the National League that would be chosen from a final fan vote for the last spot on the NL roster for the 2007 MLB All-Star Game. Gorzelanny went on to compile a 14-10 season for the 68-94 Pirates, leading the Pirates in wins and finishing with over 200 innings and an ERA of 3.88.
In 2008, Gorzelanny suffered from control problems with his pitches, walking 61 batters and giving up 99 hits in his first 87 2/3 innings of work. After a difficult start to the first half of the season, Gorzelanny was optioned to AAA Indianapolis in July. He was recalled to Pittsburgh several weeks later after a successful tenure in Indianapolis, but ultimately failed to regain his 2007 form.
After Spring Training, Gorzelanny began the 2009 season at AAA Indianapolis. In May, he was recalled to pitch from the bullpen after injuries to the Pirates' roster. He was optioned back to AAA after several weeks with Pittsburgh.He lost.
Gorzelanny was traded on July 30, 2009 to the Chicago Cubs along with John Grabow for Kevin Hart, José Ascanio, and minor league third baseman Josh Harrison, and assigned to the Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. He was called up to start on August 4, and got his first win as a Cub. He went on to make seven starts for the Cubs, earning a record of 4-2 and ending the season in the bullpen.
In 2010, Gorzelanny won a spot in the Cubs starting rotation. Although his win-loss record has not shown it, Gorzelanny has pitched very effectively, compiling a high strikeout rate and an ERA below 4 through May 2010. In late May, he was moved to the bullpen to accommodate the return of the well-paid Carlos Zambrano to the Cubs rotation.
After Zambrano aimed a profanity-laced tirade at his teammates in late June, Gorzelanny pitched in relief for 2 1/3 innings. On June 26, skipper Lou Pinella announced that Zambrano would move back to the bullpen, and Gorzelanny would regain a spot in the Cubs rotation.
Gorzelanny features three main pitches, including a low 90's four-seam fastball that can occasionally reach the mid-90's, a sharp slider with good movement, and a deceptive mid to low 80's change-up. Towards the beginning of his career he threw a curveball but has all but eliminated it from his repertoire as of 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
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