The Philadelphia Phillies have been left to reflect on a pretty dismal season, but the negativity needs to be brushed aside in order to continue and prepare for 2015.
Looking ahead to who we can expect on the Phils for next season is one way of curing the end of season hangover, and feelings of optimism can emerge from the feelings of disappointment.
The rotation for next season, as it stands, doesn’t look pretty, and there is no point masking the problem now. Its better to be proactive than reactive, and the Phillies at this stage must assess who can be drafted or promoted from within in order to fill the gaps.
It leads us in to a rather bare area, and it is a quite worrying sign of our depth that MAG is even considered (no disrespect to him, but we don’t have many stats to go on).
Through 2014 (spent at A+, AA and AAA), Miguel had a combined record of 0-4, with a 3.11 ERA over just 31 games. He managed to pitch 46.1 innings in the minors, giving up 16 earned runs, striking out 54, and he was given his chance in the Majors with his MLB debut on September 3rd, 2014.
Things didn’t exactly go ‘swimmingly’ so to speak, as through 5.1 innings MAG surrendered 4 runs, walking 3 and striking out 5, resulting in a 6.75 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP.
While it is important not to make pre-judgements based on a few innings of work, its really tough to get excited about the prospect of him in our rotation. He started 3 games in the Minors, but aside from that all his work has been from the ‘pen.
Mar 1, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (75) throws a pitch against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
His armoury has the potential to work as a starting pitcher, with a 95mph fastball, a curveball that is high-70s and a low-80s changeup. The fastball velocity is a slight worry, as fatigue may become a factor and affect his ability to be able to go deep into games.
Nevertheless, his curveball could become a good strikeout pitch with some tuning and work on control, but it is perhaps missing one pitch, be it a 2sfb for the inside corners or a slider just to have another go-to strikeout pitch.
Control has been one of the issues in the early career of MAG, reflected in the WHIP he posted during his short stint at the Majors, but it is something the Phillies will definitely try and address if he is seriously a contender to join the rotation.
Perhaps some could argue I have given a harsh assessment on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez as a Phillie so far, but it is only the statistics I have to go on and they generally don’t lie. Give him a chance in spring training, sure, but throwing him in at the deep end might be a bit much despite his age of 28.
Who knows, he may emerge in the offseason as a real potential starter, but right now I see it as more worrying than exciting to see his name mentioned, and Ruben Amaro Jr. (I hope) is thinking the same way.