Las Vegas, Nevada —— Entering play on Monday night, Los Angeles Dodgers veteran right-handed pitcher Eddie Gamboa is 7-7 with a 5.42 ERA over 19 games (18 starts) in 2017, including his first start at Triple-A on August 4 for the Pacific Coast League‘s Oklahoma City Dodgers, with 114 hits and 50 walks allowed in 104.2 innings pitched, against 66 strikeouts. I observed the 32-year-old California native in that August 4 start on the road against Las Vegas; below is Baseball Census‘ full Eddie Gamboa scouting report, including video.
Eddie Gamboa Scouting Report — Video
Our video of Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed pitcher Eddie Gamboa shows his work across that start on Friday night against the Las Vegas 51s, where he allowed two runs on six hits and two walks against three strikeouts spread out over six innings:
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Eddie Gamboa Scouting Report — Notes
A veteran knuckleballer who first reached the big leagues in 2016 after nine years in the minors, Eddie Gamboa is now well past his prime and hoping for a roster quirk that’ll grant him another shot—however short—in The Show. Down in the PCL now, his numbers are pedestrian enough for a hitter’s league (especially with the knuckleball), but as you’d expect, he isn’t missing bats and gives up a lot of hard contact. Gamboa site 70-74 mph with his knuckleball, which he throws 75-80% of the time. Interestingly, he pairs it with a wrinkle I like: a separate knuckle curve, that sits 66-69 mph and has big 11-to-5 break (but can get loopy at that velocity). It’s not a wipeout pitch, but it’s a nice, minor wrinkle for a guy predominantly giving one look. Between the knuckleball and the knuckle curve, he uses those two pitches 90-95% of the time. He’ll also flash a fastball, like most knuckleball pitchers do, that sits 82-83 mph. It isn’t overpowering or noteworthy, but he’s intelligent in how he uses it and can pitch backwards with it to success.
Gamboa’s control with the knuckleball is good, and the Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand clearly isn’t shying away from contact (nor can he afford to) despite being in such a hitter-friendly league. All that said, his is a lottery ticket right now and Eddie Gamboa is counting on a pretty significant injury rash or roster crunch to get another shot in the big leagues—especially with a club that’s been playing like the Los Angeles Dodgers have down the stretch. At 32 years old, maybe he can ride it out for another few years and play a little more baseball because he’s dependable and consistent, but I can’t foresee too much more than that in his future. Then again, he was a 31-year-old rookie in 2016 (with the Tampa Bay Rays at the time), so perhaps there’s still a chance for him yet. Regardless, I believe this was the very first knuckleballer Baseball Census has scouted, so it felt right to put him up on the site, if only to share that video of his stuff dancing around on its way to the plate.