Cuban pitcher Gonzalez will finally get a shot at the rotation this spring, but could still wind up in the bullpen.
(Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Declared eligible for MLB in June of 2013 at age 26, Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez signed with the Phillies in late August of that year. He pitched for 3 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, and appeared for the Cuban National Team in both 2009 and 2011.
His contract with the Phillies is for 3 years and $12 million, along with a 2017 vesting option. Gonzalez began the 2014 season on the Disabled List with shoulder trouble, but returned and rocketed through the Phils minor league system as a reliever. In September, he was finally given a chance with the big league club out of the bullpen. He did not make a big first impression, yielding 9 hits in 5.1 innings over a half-dozen appearances.
The Phillies are frankly not quite sure what they have in him. He was signed with the intention of pitching as a starter. The club is expected to finally give him a chance at that role this spring. If it doesn’t look like he will make it as a starter, the team may quickly reverse course and move him back into the bullpen, hoping that he can pitch there in the 7th inning for the big league club.