One up-and-coming St. Louis Cardinals pitcher has been unseen this year due to injury. What has been going on with this left-handed pitcher?
The St. Louis Cardinals have been missing the presence of one rookie pitcher who seemed like a part of the teams future in years past. I’ll be one to admit that at least in this writers head, Austin Gomber was a forgotten man this year.
Gomber is a former fourth-round draft pick from 2014 at the age of 20 and made a slow but steady rise through the system to make it into the Majors last year at the age of 24.
As a four-pitch left-handed starter, Gomber filled a role out of the bullpen that the Cardinals needed help with as a lefty but has always started in the Minors. With a curveball that has improved a lot, Gomber’s not a high-velocity guy. His fastball sits around 92-ish mph and he pairs the curveball with a slider and changeup.
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Gomber was never expected to be an ace or a top of the rotation guy, but with a ceiling of about a #3 starter, he is a guy that is very important organizationally from the left side.
After he worked as a swiss army knife last year, starting 11 games and appearing in 29 total, Gomber was expected to start the year in the Minors but has been dealing with injury since May.
Gomber started the season pretty hot and averaged around six innings a start with a 3.38 ERA over his six starts that he made pre-injury. He then went on the IL with biceps and shoulder problems that have lingered until he started baseball activities again in mid-August.
Gomber started with live batting practice on August 19th and then went to Palm Beach on August 23rd where he was roughed up for three runs over just .1 innings. Gomber then went to AA Springfield where he made three appearances of 1.0, 2.0, 1.0 innings, all without giving up a run.
This last appearance was on September 1st and the question now is what to have him do now that minor league seasons are finished. Hopefully, the Cardinals find more time for him to pitch and eventually rejoin the MLB bullpen for the stretch run, but the news has really been quiet on Gomber since his last time pitching.
The lost year for the now-25-year-old Gomber is frustrating but there is still time for him to carve out a role with the Cardinals.
Gomber may or may not rejoin the Cardinals this year but if he does, he will join the stellar bullpen and be in a role he has experience with last year. He doesn’t have nearly enough time to get stretched out to start again so this is his only option for now. It’s reasonable to expect Gomber to re-train to be a starter this winter but without a distinct role, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded this winter too.