Gavin Floyd will try to make comeback in Atlanta

Gavin Floyd will try to make comeback in Atlanta
December 16, 2013, 11:15 am
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In seven seasons with the White Sox, Gavin Floyd was either underrated or overrated, depending on who you asked. Now, those debates -- and Floyd -- are off to Atlanta, with the soon-to-be 31-year-old signing a one-year deal with the Braves reportedly worth $4 million.

The right-hander flashed no-hit potential on a few occasions, and would go months looking unhittable. Those stretches went hand-in-hand with Floyd having good command on his fastball and snapping off his devastating 12-6 curveball to rack up strikeouts.

But on a game-by-game basis, consistency and control eluded Floyd throughout his career with the White Sox. It's why, on a season-by-season basis, Floyd actually was fairly consistent: after posting a 3.84 ERA in 2008, Floyd never had an ERA lower than 4.06 or higher than 4.37 from 2009-2012.

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"You can see him throw seven, eight innings of no-hit caliber ball, and then there will be some shorter outings where he gets blown up a little bit," general manager Rick Hahn said before last season. "When you have that kind of stuff, when you have the ability to throw that length of shutout and quality outings, we know that's in there."

Floyd underwent Tommy John surgery in early May of last season, ending any chance of a big season in the final year of his contract with the White Sox. A 14-to-19-month timetable was given for his recovery, though Floyd expects to pitch in the majors by May of 2014, according to ESPN.com.

The one-year deal Floyd signed has $4.5 million in incentives, which fits the market for pitchers coming off Tommy John fairly well. If Floyd is able to return in 2014 -- not a given, something the Cubs know after Scott Baker suffered a string of setbacks last year -- he'll join a very good rotation featuring Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran.

Three superlatives

Best game (by win probability added): .613, May 22, 2009 vs. Pittsburgh.This start came a few days after Jake Peavy nixed Kenny Williams' first attempt to acquire him that year, but during the reporting of those efforts Peter Gammons noted the White Sox thought they had fixed something with Floyd. In eight starts prior, Floyd had a 7.71 ERA. He allowed two hits and two walks in eight shutout innings against Pittsburgh on May 22, striking out eight and leading the White Sox to a 2-0 win.

Most strikeouts: 11, Sept. 5, 2009 vs. Boston. According to Brooks Baseball, about 60 percent of Floyd's fastballs were for strikes, which didn't set up his curveball as much as his slider in this game. Floyd threw 44 sliders and generated 11 swings and misses over eight innings in a 5-1 victory.

Closest no-hit bid: May 6, 2008 vs. MInnesota. Floyd came within two outs of no-hitting the Twins here, with Nick Swisher's diving attempt falling short of a Joe Mauer double into the left-center field gap. Floyd nearly no-hit Detroit in April of 2008, too, but never again came as close to history as he did against Minnesota.

*Note, if you're a fan of game score, the May 22 (84) and Sept. 5 (83) starts in 2009 were the best of Floyd's career.