Gio Gonzalez – Oakland Athletics / Washington Nationals / Milwaukee Brewers
While he has only seen the Major Leagues with three different teams, Gio Gonzalez is one of the most traveled pitchers in the league. After being drafted by the Chicago White Sox, he was flipped to the Philadelphia Phillies, then back to the Chicago White Sox, and then finally to the Oakland Athletics before ever throwing a pitch at the big league level. Since then, he’s made trips to the Washington Nationals organization, signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, took on a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees, and then went back to Milwaukee. If the 2020 season ever gets underway, he’ll start his third stint with the White Sox organization.
So how does a career journeyman end up as part of this discussion? Well, when Gonzalez wasn’t too busy packing and unpacking, he has actually been a serviceable starter at times. He owns a career record of 130-99 with a 3.68 ERA, a 3.65 FIP, and an 8.6 K/9. That included a third-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting in 2012 when he went 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA, a 2.82 FIP, and a 9.3 K/9.
But like all the aforementioned players, he is in this discussion for what he has done against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the years. In 13 career starts against the Angels dating back to 2008, Gonzalez owns a record of 8-3 with a 2.69 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 rate, while holding hitters to a .209/.277/.319 batting line.
Since 2010, he’s been even better. In the last decade, Gonzalez ranks second in ERA (2.19), 5th in wOBA (.250), 4th in AVG (.198), 4th in FIP (3.10), 2nd in LOB% (82.2%), and 7th in hard-hit rate (26.8%).
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While he will never be confused with the likes of Clayton Kershaw or Justin Verlander when we’re discussing great pitchers of the 21st century, Gio Gonzalez has certainly made his mark against the Angels that puts him on par with the two aces.