Darin Gorski’s Tale Of Unheralded Success

By John Bernhardt

October 19, 2013 6 Comments

Darin Gorski

As the Mets scramble to trim their 40-man roster to make room for players who finished the year on the disabled list or for prospects who could be lost to the Rule 5 draft, I keep contemplating the fate of Darin Gorski.

Gorski, a Met left-handed pitcher in Binghamton went unprotected early in the spring and passed unclaimed through waivers. Gorski returned to the Mets minor leagues assigned to their Triple-A squad in Las Vegas. After recovering from an early shoulder injury in mid summer, Gorski was sent to Double-A Binghamton to begin to throw in games.

The tall lefty was brilliant for the B-Mets their most consistent starter after the Eastern League All-Star break. The 6’4”, 25-year old southpaw made 14 appearances that included 13 starts going 6-1 for the regular season Eastern League champions. Gorski logged a 1.87 ERA and an eye-popping 0.864 WHIP. Gorski allowed just 46 hits in 78.2 innings, striking out 67 batters while walking only 22. And, Gorski seemed to solve a problem that had plagued him throughout his minor league career, keeping the ball in the park. Only one batter went long on Gorski this summer in Binghamton.

Gorski has had a roller coaster ride through the Met minors so far. After a brilliant campaign for Port St. Lucie where Gorski was named the 2011 Florida State League Most Valuable Player of the year and the Mets Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Gorski stalled somewhat in 2012.

Gorski was the workhorse of the Binghamton staff throwing 139.2 innings and going 9-8 for the B-Mets in 2012. But, Gorski’s ERA ballooned from 2.08 at St. Lucie to 4.00 in Binghamton, and the ball left the ballpark 20 times that summer when the B-Met starter was on the mound .

Gorski had barely gotten started in Las Vegas this spring and did show some uncharacteristic control issues before he injured his shoulder. But, Gorski was the picture of calm and poise on the mound this summer in Binghamton able to spot his fastball wherever he chose while effectively mixing a slider and change-up.

Wherever fate takes him, Gorski sports a trace of a baseball lucky charm. His teams in Brooklyn, Savannah, Port St. Lucie, and Binghamton have all qualified for post season play although none of those play-off teams have brought home a championship. Perhaps Darin’s saving that for the Mets.

I’ve watched Darin Gorski pitch over two seasons, and I love his approach on the mound. The big lefty is a ‘thinking pitcher,’ a guy who lacks the big power fastball but makes up for it with pitching assertiveness and smarts. Gorski has a great work ethic and is pretty hard to rattle on the hill when things get sticky. The best way to put it – Darin Gorski competes.

The Mets have tough decisions to make over the next week or so paring down their roster and deciding who goes and who stays. I’m hoping one of the guys who stays is Darin Gorski. What do you think?

  • DD

    What you said is almost exactly what I think. I think Gorki is a keeper.

    I am not as sanguine as you in the turnaround from 20 home runs allowed to 1; I dare say that luck will even out and his future numbers will fall somewhere between those two extremes. But clearly he has figured some things out.

    I was hoping that the Mets promoted him this past September, since he still needed innings and he was unlikely to be much worse than Dice-K or Harang. Didn’t happen, of course; now I hope he makes it to Queens in 2014, and that the Mets give him time to stake his claim.

  • LongTimeFan

    What’s his fastball velocity? Average and hardest? Is he Dillion Gee range, like 89-92?

  • B-Met Fan

    I wrote a post expressing my hope that the Mets would elevate Gorski as the year rolled to a close. Someone responded that is was likely the Mets were reluctant to add Gorski to the 40-man roster and may have wanted him to end his season on a high note. That does make sense. Even so, it would have been a decent preview and an asset in evaluation Gorski value as part of the 40 man roster had they given him a look.

  • B-Met Fan

    He’s very similar to Gee’s numbers. During his first stay in Binghamton his numbers ticked a bit higher. He was consistently in the 80-92 range. This summer those numbers dropped slightly coming on more like 87-91. It seemed to me as if Darin was focused more on placement of his fastball than trying to milk a little extra power on the fastball. When he is going well, he can spot the ball on the knees or lower, inside and outside, and up and down when the count is in his favor. That kind of accuracy seemed to be a bigger plus than an added mph or two.

  • B-Met Fan

    Correction that first year his fastball came in between 89-92.

  • DD

    You might recall toward the end of the 2011 season, the story was that Gorski had found an additional 2-3 mph. He had been sitting at about 89, and was up to 91, which was supposed to be behind his success at St Luce that year.

    Somebody recently mentioned Gorski throwing 94 mph, which I don’t believe. But then, the gun at a playoff game this year had Chris Capuano throwing 92, so maybe the gravitational pull of the Earth has changed or something.