A good way to think about Gabe White may be as the anti-Gryboski. I know I talk too much about Gryboski and these reliever profiles are in danger of turning into a long comparison of everyone with my least-favorite reliever, but this one makes sense.
- Gryboski is righthanded, White is lefthanded.
- Gryboski is an extreme groundball pitcher, White an extreme flyball pitcher.
- In consequence, Gryboski rarely allows homers, while White allows a whole bunch.
- Gryboski has a nearly even strikeout/walk ratio, while White’s is better than 3:1.
- Gryboski, of course, allowed six unearned runs last year, while White has allowed seven in his entire 562-inning career.
- Gryboski’s platoon splits are far greater than White’s, but Gryboski is allowed to face everyone while White is often pigeonholed into a LOOGY role.
- Gryboski is a cheap commodity starting to get expensive, White was once an expensive commodity but is now cheap.
- Hardly coincidentally, Gryboski is coming off his best season, White his worst.
White began his career with the Expos in 1994 but has spent most of it either on the Reds, being traded from the Reds, or about to be traded back to the Reds. His best year, oddly considering his homer problems, came with the Rockies in 2000, when he had a 2.36 ERA in a 5.19 ERA environment. He also allowed only six home runs, accounting for much of his success after he’d allowed 30 combined in the previous two years. He proved that it was a fluke by allowing 18 the next year. He was good back in Cincinnati in 2002 but his career decayed after that, and last year with the Yankees and then back with the Reds he had a 6.94 ERA.
He still has good strikeout/walk data, but gave up too many fly balls and too many homers last season, and opponents hit .294 as well. He’s a project. If Leo can get White to get more ground balls without losing his control, he’s a chance to be good again. It’s worth the risk for $600K.