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Potential of Kyle Gibson...

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#1 KirbyHawk75

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:10 PM

Can he be a number 2 pitcher in a rotation? I do not believe he is an ace, but he can be a very good pitcher for us.

#2 Boom Boom

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:55 PM

If everything breaks right for Gibson, I think he could be very similar to Justin Masterson.

Not an ace, but maybe a good #2.

#3 stringer bell

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:01 PM

Gibson is a guy I like. I think he can be very good, perhaps to ace level. I would expect that if he reached his ceiling, he would still get a lot of ground balls but that he would K a lot more hitters and walk almost no one. So far, he really hasn't consistently commanded his pitches, but he throws downhill and gets good movement.

#4 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:19 PM

I think you are a little bit optimistic stringer.
I don't think he'll ever be an ace, though it depends on how you define it I guess. Certainly he could be our staff ace until/unless Meyer or Stewart take that job.
I think his ceiling is a solid #2 on an average ballclub, but most players never hit their ceiling so I'll be happy if he becomes a good #3 type.

#5 drock2190

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:51 PM

He better get his strikeout to walk ratio reversed before I get too excited.

His advanced stats are actually worse then last year.

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:50 PM

Yeah, I hope things turn out, but high walks plus low strikeouts generally mean early season success is a mirage.

I think he'll turn things around though. Doubt he'll ever become enough of a strikeout pitcher to be a #1 or even a #2 however.

#7 Thrylos

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:16 PM

. Doubt he'll ever become enough of a strikeout pitcher to be a #1 or even a #2 however.


I will wait for a larger sample size in the majors before I could qualify that. Here are some facts:

Fact #1: Gibson's career K/9 in the minors is 8.0
Fact #2: Roy Halladay's career K/9 in the majors was 6.9 and in the minors 5.9
Fact #3: Greg Maddux' career K/9 in the majors was 6.1

I suspect that nobody can argue that Halladay's and Maddux were not aces because of the low K/9. Arguably Gibson can have better K/9 than both of them. Can he be an ace in a world champion team? Likely not. I think that he will be a good #3 pitcher in a winning team, same way that (Hall of Famer) Tom Glavine was a good #3 pitcher in a winning team.
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#8 jokin

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:29 PM

I will wait for a larger sample size in the majors before I could qualify that. Here are some facts:

Fact #1: Gibson's career K/9 in the minors is 8.0
Fact #2: Roy Halladay's career K/9 in the majors was 6.9 and in the minors 5.9
Fact #3: Greg Maddux' career K/9 in the majors was 6.1

I suspect that nobody can argue that Halladay's and Maddux were not aces because of the low K/9. Arguably Gibson can have better K/9 than both of them. Can he be an ace in a world champion team? Likely not. I think that he will be a good #3 pitcher in a winning team, same way that (Hall of Famer) Tom Glavine was a good #3 pitcher in a winning team.


I love Gibson's chances to be an impact pitcher on this team as much as anyone.....But.......Tom Glavine averaged 215 IP/YR with an ERA+ of 120......over a 20 YEAR span. As we speak, Gibson's K/BB ratio is upside down on the season, along with a 5.67 xFIP. Let's hold off on any comps between- a "good #3 pitcher" and- Hall of Famer- Glavine, and Kyle Gibson, for at least a few more starts.

Edited by jokin, 12 April 2014 - 09:33 PM.


#9 stringer bell

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:05 PM

When reading discussions of aces, I think of Halliday as an example of a guy without high strikeouts who went on to become an legit ace. He was a IIRC well-regarded coming up, but not thought to be an ace, but evolved into an unquestioned top of the rotation guy on World Series teams. Maybe Gibson can get there, probably not. I agree that he needs to show more command, work ahead, and put more batters away quicker.

#10 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:12 PM

Gibson hasn't been particularly dominant in the high minors, and obviously not the Majors. He's already 26. We're lucky if he's a #3... he's certainly no ace.

#11 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:13 PM

The secret to his success so far? He's busting them inside, pissing batters off. Will be very interesting to see if he shies away when hitters start chirping at him and giving him the evil eye, or if he'll continue busting them in. As long as be stays waist level he has nothing to apoligize for.

#12 jokin

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:23 PM

Gibson hasn't been particularly dominant in the high minors, and obviously not the Majors. He's already 26. We're lucky if he's a #3... he's certainly no ace.


What? Go back and check his 2013 numbers. 3 straight shutouts, one of which was a near-no hitter. 2.92 ERA/3.10 FIP (5th best in IL)/1.16 WHIP.

#13 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:11 AM

When reading discussions of aces, I think of Halliday as an example of a guy without high strikeouts who went on to become an legit ace. He was a IIRC well-regarded coming up, but not thought to be an ace, but evolved into an unquestioned top of the rotation guy on World Series teams. Maybe Gibson can get there, probably not. I agree that he needs to show more command, work ahead, and put more batters away quicker.


Yes, there are exceptions, and Halladay certainly fits that.
But, there is a reason why Halladay became an exception, he was a ridiculously hard worker. Do a google search on Roy Halladay workout regiment, he was known for his Jerry Rice like insane workout routine.
I'm not saying Gibson isnt a hard worker, I don't know.

#14 spycake

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 09:19 AM

Yes, there are exceptions, and Halladay certainly fits that.
But, there is a reason why Halladay became an exception, he was a ridiculously hard worker. Do a google search on Roy Halladay workout regiment, he was known for his Jerry Rice like insane workout routine.
I'm not saying Gibson isnt a hard worker, I don't know.


I wouldn't even bother examining their workouts. It is certainly possible that Gibson becomes an ace, but it is not at all probable. Heck, he still has a ways to go to become that #3 guy.

#15 halfchest

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 09:39 AM

What sets him apart and gives him a chance to be a top of the rotation guy is those ground ball rates. I just remember seeing his minor league lines and it was always a ridiculous like 3:1 or 4:1 GO/FO ratio. Along with a decent K rate. When he was coming up prior to injury I was thinking he would be Scott Baker with ground ball ability. Still feel like that is his upside. His walk rate is way high and I'm convinced is a small sample size issue. His groundball rate is a bit higher than normal too but still within his wheelhouse. I expect him to continue the gb rate for the most part and improve the K/BB rate.

My opinion he could very much be a top of the rotation guy because of his groundball abilities that have been consistent even last year. However, I'll be happy if he can be a solid midrotation guy for his career like Nolasco.

#16 PseudoSABR

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:08 AM

A healthy Scott Baker or a horse like Nolasco both are very, very valuable.

#17 cmathewson

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:12 AM

I love Gibson's chances to be an impact pitcher on this team as much as anyone.....But.......Tom Glavine averaged 215 IP/YR with an ERA+ of 120......over a 20 YEAR span. As we speak, Gibson's K/BB ratio is upside down on the season, along with a 5.67 xFIP. Let's hold off on any comps between- a "good #3 pitcher" and- Hall of Famer- Glavine, and Kyle Gibson, for at least a few more starts.


It sucks to use small samples to prove a point. It sucks even worse to compare the smallest of samples with the largest. Maybe that's your point. Maybe you say you just can't answer the question without numbers. Again, if that's your point, fine. But if you're trying to prove some limitation of Gibson's potential based on small samples, I have a problem with that.

If you want to use something other than numbers, like scouting reports or video or pitch F/x, perhaps you can make a claim about his potential. For example, in his two starts, he's shown the same tendency he had last year: Get ahead 0-2 and throw several strikes that the umpire refuses to call strikes. Then induce an out on contact. If Gibson had been operating on the same strike zone that Glavin and Maddux lived with, his K/Bob would be 10/1. I don't know how long it will take the umps to start calling more strikes for him. But when it starts happening, he will be a solid #2 starter. When they do make contact, they make easy outs most of the time.
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#18 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:24 AM

I will wait for a larger sample size in the majors before I could qualify that. Here are some facts:

Fact #1: Gibson's career K/9 in the minors is 8.0
Fact #2: Roy Halladay's career K/9 in the majors was 6.9 and in the minors 5.9
Fact #3: Greg Maddux' career K/9 in the majors was 6.1

I suspect that nobody can argue that Halladay's and Maddux were not aces because of the low K/9. Arguably Gibson can have better K/9 than both of them. Can he be an ace in a world champion team? Likely not. I think that he will be a good #3 pitcher in a winning team, same way that (Hall of Famer) Tom Glavine was a good #3 pitcher in a winning team.


No question those two are aces, one being one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Maddox did pitch most of his career in an era of pitch-to-contact though. Regardless, we can certainly hope Gibson develops into an elite pitcher based mostly on control, but as Pseudo said, hoping for a Nolasco type career is probably what we should be assuming for a ceiling.

#19 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

I missed his 2nd start, but first start he seemed jittery, working out of tough spots though. Seemed more like luck rather than great pitches.

I remain optimistic that he could be a #3. Currently I'd call him an average 5 though.

#20 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

I missed his 2nd start, but first start he seemed jittery, working out of tough spots though. Seemed more like luck rather than great pitches.

I remain optimistic that he could be a #3. Currently I'd call him an average 5 though.


To be fair to Gibson, cmat is right when he says that the umps are squeezing him like (almost) nobody else.
According to this WSJ study late last season: http://online.wsj.co...080993358926108

Gibson had the 5th least generous strike zone last season (79.2% of pitches in the zone called a strike).
And, although I dont have the numbers, I've seen more of the same this year.
The strike zone in his 2nd start was a joke.

It is hard enough to come up and pitch in the big leagues as it is, without getting jobbed by the ump.
When a full 1/5th of your strikes are called balls, I can see how that would pretty significantly affect your k/bb rate.

#21 jokin

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:06 AM

To be fair to Gibson, cmat is right when he says that the umps are squeezing him like (almost) nobody else.
According to this WSJ study late last season: http://online.wsj.co...080993358926108

Gibson had the 5th least generous strike zone last season (79.2% of pitches in the zone called a strike).
And, although I dont have the numbers, I've seen more of the same this year.
The strike zone in his 2nd start was a joke.

It is hard enough to come up and pitch in the big leagues as it is, without getting jobbed by the ump.
When a full 1/5th of your strikes are called balls, I can see how that would pretty significantly affect your k/bb rate.


It sucks to use small samples to prove a point. It sucks even worse to compare the smallest of samples with the largest. Maybe that's your point. Maybe you say you just can't answer the question without numbers. Again, if that's your point, fine. But if you're trying to prove some limitation of Gibson's potential based on small samples, I have a problem with that.

If you want to use something other than numbers, like scouting reports or video or pitch F/x, perhaps you can make a claim about his potential. For example, in his two starts, he's shown the same tendency he had last year: Get ahead 0-2 and throw several strikes that the umpire refuses to call strikes. Then induce an out on contact. If Gibson had been operating on the same strike zone that Glavin and Maddux lived with, his K/Bob would be 10/1. I don't know how long it will take the umps to start calling more strikes for him. But when it starts happening, he will be a solid #2 starter. When they do make contact, they make easy outs most of the time.


I've been Gibson's biggest proponent for a year now. But until this thread, I hadn't seen anyone compare him to a Hall of Famer, and as positive as the results have been for his first 2 starts this year, that was my objection for coming to sweeping conclusions on a player's career from 2 good, but shaky starts. Let me go out on a limb yet again and predict that Gibson won't average 215 an innings per year & average a 3.50 ERA over the next 20 years- even if he gets the same alleged advantage that Maddux and Glavine had.


In looking at the F/X data from Kyle's first 2 starts, I'm not sure what you're seeing this year ( I know you wrote about Gibson getting screwed by the umps in 2013), but it's actually been the tale of two pitchers-

Game 1- he had a tendency to wild high, with 4 out of zone/borderline strikes called with 6 in-zone balls called.

http://pitchfx.texas...014&to=4/5/2014



Game 2- most of his pitches were down in the zone and his wildness was low, with one out of zone strike called and 3 in-zone balls called.

http://pitchfx.texas...14&to=4/11/2014

Edited by jokin, 13 April 2014 - 11:19 AM.


#22 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:28 AM

I've been Gibson's biggest proponent for a year now. But until this thread, I hadn't seen anyone compare him to a Hall of Famer, and as positive as the results have been for his first 2 starts this year, that was my objection for coming to sweeping conclusions on a player's career from 2 good, but shaky starts. Let me go out on a limb yet again and predict that Gibson won't average 215 an innings per year & average a 3.50 ERA over the next 20 years- even if he gets the same alleged advantage that Maddux and Glavine had.


In looking at the F/X data from Kyle's first 2 starts, I'm not sure what you're seeing this year ( I know you wrote about Gibson getting screwed by the umps in 2013), but it's actually been the tale of two pitchers-

Game 1- he had a tendency to wild high, with 4 out of zone/borderline strikes called with 6 in-zone balls called.

http://pitchfx.texas...014&to=4/5/2014



Game 2- most of his pitches were down in the zone and his wildness was low, with one out of zone strike called and 3 in-zone balls called.

http://pitchfx.texas...14&to=4/11/2014


Yep, and that is why you need to be careful using the "eye test"! I should know better.
However, that said, there were a LOT of pitches that either touched the black, or missed by a tiny amount.
I count 14. A lot of pitchers get some of those calls, Gibson only got 1 of them.

#23 Marta Shearing

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:01 PM

To be fair to Gibson, cmat is right when he says that the umps are squeezing him like (almost) nobody else.
According to this WSJ study late last season: http://online.wsj.co...080993358926108

Gibson had the 5th least generous strike zone last season (79.2% of pitches in the zone called a strike).
And, although I dont have the numbers, I've seen more of the same this year.
The strike zone in his 2nd start was a joke.

It is hard enough to come up and pitch in the big leagues as it is, without getting jobbed by the ump.
When a full 1/5th of your strikes are called balls, I can see how that would pretty significantly affect your k/bb rate.

Never been a fan of replay, but I am all in on electeonic balls and strikes. Umpiring has sunk to a new low levels of patheticness.

#24 stringer bell

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:24 AM

On the subject of umpiring, technology is demonstrating how tough it is to get balls and strikes right, not that umpiring has sunken or risen IMHO. On Gibson, he needs to consistently hit the mitt and he'll start to get those borderline calls.

#25 cmathewson

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:34 AM

On the subject of umpiring, technology is demonstrating how tough it is to get balls and strikes right, not that umpiring has sunken or risen IMHO. On Gibson, he needs to consistently hit the mitt and he'll start to get those borderline calls.


That's what irked me watching his last game. Suzuki would set up over the inside corner, he'd hit the mitt, and the ump would call a ball. A couple of times with two strikes, the ball actually moved more over the plate, forcing Suzuki to move the mitt toward the center of the plate to catch it, and he still called it a ball. It seems they give him a different strike zone with two strikes. Growing up, we were taught to protect the plate with two strikes. If anything, the opposite is the case now. Gibson's last start was a case in point. Since the context was K/BB, I thought called third strikes (especially on 3-2 pitches) was relevant.

The only reason I compared him to hall of famers is not because I think he will be. But Glavin and Maddux were legendary for getting pitches called on the black. You hardly ever saw them throw pitches over the heart of the plate. They were on the corners and out. And they got a lot of balls called strikes. Those days are gone, especially for young pitchers. Now you practically have to throw it down the middle to get a third strike called.
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#26 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:10 AM

The theory that strike calls are harder to get now than in the past would seem to be at odds with the steady rise in strikeouts over MLB in recent history.

#27 cmathewson

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:46 AM

The theory that strike calls are harder to get now than in the past would seem to be at odds with the steady rise in strikeouts over MLB in recent history.


I would say yes if you qualified that to say "strikeouts looking". If most of the increase in strikeouts were swinging strikes, I don't think it invalidates the theory. Even then, I think it's more complex than that. Guys take more pitches in general now than they did 20 years ago. Perhaps emboldened by a sense of calm with two strikes, guys take closer pitches in those counts than they did 20 years ago. If the umpires change the implicit rules of the game, players will adapt. That's what I see.

You watch the Red Sox and Yankees play and the players are shocked to be called out on strikes. They walk back to the dugout shaking their heads and sayings stuff under their breath, the gist of which is, "You're not supposed to do that!"
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#28 Linus

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:52 AM

Sinkerball pitchers are always walking a fine line. Because a sinker is slower than a 4 seam fastball, the movement and location is much more important. Sinkers that don't move or are not on the corners get hit. That's why we've seen so many sinkerballers have a good season here and there but cannot sustain over the course of a career. Scott Erickson was a great example: when he first came up he threw a hard sinker that moved all over the place. He was nearly unhittable. Then he had the dreaded "elbow cleanout" and that sinker never had the same life and he became an average pitcher for the remainder of his career.

Gibson has nice movement on his sinker: if he maintains that, commands it a little better and adds better secondary pitches, he could be a very fine pitcher. Only time will tell.

#29 tobi0040

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:13 AM

Gibson hasn't been particularly dominant in the high minors, and obviously not the Majors. He's already 26. We're lucky if he's a #3... he's certainly no ace.



He had a sub 3.00 ERA last year in AAA with 7.75 K per 9. And his MO is ground balls.

#30 h2oface

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:30 AM

If Gibson got the correct calls by the umpires, his line would look a lot different. He is hitting the edges great. He just is the victim of bad umpiring, at this point.