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Friday, August 29, 2014

Cuban Gonzalez thriving as reliever in Phillies system

No, his nickname is not “Cuban” Gonzalez. (Presumably, it’s something creative like “Gonzo.”)

When the Phillies signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for $12 million last summer, they included performance bonuses for games started and games relieved. Ruben Amaro Jr. proclaimed his Cuban import a starter - the team negotiated a $48 million agreement before a medical examination forced amendments - although the international scouting community was divided on Gonzalez’s future role… Then Gonzalez reported to spring training and doubt permeated all projections.

“It was hard to find a lot that you liked,” said Joe Jordan, the team’s director of player development.

But Gonzalez, who turns 28 next month, has thrived for two months as a minor-league reliever… Gonzalez has a 1.93 ERA in 10 games for triple-A Lehigh Valley with 12 strikeouts and eight walks. He has a 2.36 ERA in 34 innings as a reliever across three levels… Gonzalez featured a fastball at 95-98 m.p.h. in a recent outing and threw it for strikes on both sides of the plate.

“He looked like a totally different guy than in spring training,” an American League scout said…

There will be an internal debate this fall on how to proceed with Gonzalez, his relief success notwithstanding. The situation dictates that Gonzalez be stretched into a starting role because of the organization’s lack of major-league-ready options and many rotation holes. But Gonzalez’s body could not handle such an assignment earlier this season.

A decision could hinge on whether Jonathan Papelbon remains with the Phillies next season. If Papelbon is traded, [Ken] Giles becomes closer with [Jake] Diekman and Gonzalez as the primary setup men and decent relief options like Justin De Fratus and Mario Hollands behind them… In the meantime, Gonzalez will be one of the more interesting Phillies to watch in the season’s final month.

The District Attorney Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:20 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel alfredo gonzalez, phillies

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4781903)
The Phils' farm system is so bad that we are supposed to get excited about a 28 yo reliever with a sub-2.00 ERA in 10 relief appearances and a 12/8 K/W ratio. I'm thinking 2020 before there is a chance of rejuvenation.

It's sad that I find it hopeful that today's announcement that team President David Montgomery is taking a medical leave. Pat Gillick is stepping in. I wonder if Pat has anything left in the tank.
   2. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: August 29, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4781914)
The Montgomery news is indeed very sad. He's just generally considered a great person by everyone in the organization and city. He is also one of the main reasons why a ML team in a multi-billion dollar sport still feels like a mom & pop store in so many ways (kind of like the Steelers in football).

I wish Gillick the best, hopefully begining with clearing out the GM. Rube was his assistant, but he still has to be interested in bringing in someone new if he's taking over as team president.

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