Friday, February 29th, 2008 by Adam Wagner

Tom Gorzelanny is officially a Pirate pitcher

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Last season, Tom Gorzelanny threw 201.2 innings, compiling a 3.88 ERA.  He is unofficially scheduled to start the first game of the season right now and is one of the two best pitchers, if not players, on the Pirates.  Gorzelanny is, however, revealing that he is a Pirate pitcher in the best way possible: by being injured.

Gorzelanny, who has been shut down at the end of the past two seasons with arm issues and “fatigue,” reportedly has soreness in his shoulder.  The injury is not supposed to be serious and Pirate personnel claims that Gorzelanny would make the start if the injury had occurred in August.

The problem with all of this is that Pirate fans do not trust the Pirates’ training staff or their injury diagnoses.  When we hear shoulder soreness, we think reconstructive surgery.  When we hear elbow tweak, we think Tommy John.  The Pirates have given us fair enough reason to think this, with the examples of Brad Lincoln (who made several starts before being shut down and having massive surgeries), Bryan Bullington (who threw injured), John Van Benschoten (same), and many others.  Pirate pitchers get hurt more than other teams.’  It’s an unfortunate part of being a fan of this team.

Gorzelanny has seemed primed for injury, being shut down at the ends of seasons, leaping up a huge amount in innings pitched from year to year, and being shut down before with soreness.  The Pirates should be careful with Gorzelanny for the next couple of weeks to ensure that he can be the pitcher on opening day and, hopefully, for much of the season.

If he isn’t, Pirate fans will just have more reason to distrust the Pirate medical staff and Neal Huntington will have told his first obvious lie.

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