Gio Gonzalez, New York Yankees
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Gio Gonzalez pitched like an All-Star at the end of 2018. He really has no clue how he ended up in AAA with the Yankees.

Aaron Case

If you ask New York Yankees farmhand Gio Gonzalez to explain his current predicament, be prepared for a bewildered response.

The 33-year-old with the career 3.69 ERA in more than 1,800 innings will likely shrug and blame nerds pouring over complex data sets in MLB front offices.

At least, that’s the excuse he gave the New York Post’s Mark W. Sanchez after recounting his numbers with the Milwaukee Brewers:

“5-0 [3-0, but the Brewers won all five starts] with a 2 ERA [2.13] doesn’t work anymore. Apparently I didn’t hit my analytic numbers. I don’t know what it was.”

While he did turn on the afterburners in Milwaukee, overall Gonzalez put up his second-consecutive down year in 2018. He posted a 4.57 ERA last season after sandwiching his stellar 2017 between a 4.21 in 2017 and another 4.57 in 2015.

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If that’s not the answer, maybe it was his first year with a SO/W rate below 2.00 since 2010. It could even be that his FIP steadily climbed from 3.05 in 2015 to 4.16 in his most recent campaign.

Whatever the reason for his nearly suitor-less offseason, the veteran lefty is not giving up just yet.

“I want to perform for the team that has me in their minors right now. Hopefully something happens.”

That something will have to occur soon. If the Yankees don’t call him up by April 20, Gonzalez can opt out of his contract and look for another spot in an MLB rotation.

New York is still without ace Luis Severino; Gonzalez is weighing a potential return to free agency alongside still-unsigned stars Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel.

The situation is quickly turning into a game of chicken, and it will certainly be interesting to see who swerves first.

Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.