Potential Twins Bullpen Target: John Gant, RHP, Cardinals
Image courtesy of © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsJohn Gant, RHP, 26-years-old
St. Louis Cardinals (35-33 in NL Central)
Three more years of team control via arbitration.
2019: 1.66 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 8.53 K/9, 2.13 BB/9 in 38.0 IP
2018: 3.47 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.50 4.50 K/9, BB/9 in 114.0 IP (19 games started)
What’s to Like?
He’s just under 27-years-old and could be with the team for three more years, which could turn out to be pretty valuable if his first 33 innings as a full-time reliever are any indication. With a 1.64 ERA his peripherals would obviously suggest the possibility for negative regression, but Gant has elite stuff that has been fooling hitters all year.
Per Statcast, the movement of his changeup (23.9 percent usage), four seamer (23.1 percent), and curveball (11 percent) are all considered top 10 or better in the league. This leaves out his most oft used pitch, the sinker (33.1 percent), against which opposing hitters have a slugging percentage of .301 in 2019.
I don’t mean to be overly optimistic, but there isn’t a lot to be concerned about here since he’s been so good. That said, some things to consider: given his age, contract situation, and success he’ll be more expensive than Oliver Perez and Craig Stammen, the move from the NL to the AL means he would be facing better hitting (primarily a DH instead of a pinch hitter), and as he gains more innings, hitters will have more of a scouting report on him.
The concerns are really grasping at straws here. Gant would be a phenomenal add to our bullpen and would probably fit right into an eighth-inning role.
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