Severino Gonzalez pitched as a starter and reliever for the Phillies for multiple seasons
Michael Saunders’ one-year contract with the Phillies became official Thursday afternoon, giving the Phillies lineup a veteran power bat akin to Hunter Pence.
With Saunders now officially a member of the organization, a corresponding move was needed on the 40-man roster. The odd-man out will be pitcher Severino Gonzalez.
Philadelphia announced the roster move of Gonzalez on their Twitter account following the official announcement regarding Saunders.
The young right-hander started seven games for the Phillies in 2015, posting a 7.92 ERA over 30.2 innings of work. While striking out 28 batters, Gonzalez allowed 27 earned runs and 44 hits.
Gonzalez spent a portion of last season in Lehigh Valley, but once he returned to Philadelphia he was relegated to the bullpen. Coming out of the ‘pen Gonzalez had 34 strikeouts in 27 games, but struggled to keep the ball in the park. Four home runs and 22 earned runs left Gonzalez struggling to find answers.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Gonzalez does still have a minor league option. Another team could potentially claim the Panamanian pitcher off waivers, or try to swing a low-end trade. If Gonzalez goes unclaimed the Phillies will most-likely have him continue to work in Lehigh Valley.
Taking Gonzalez out of the bullpen opens opportunities for other young pitchers. Edubray Ramos and Joely Rodriguez each have some major league experience, while Victor Arano, Elniery Garcia, Drew Anderson, Alberto Tirado, and Cesar Ramos have little to none. This situation creates a large opportunity for each of them to prove they can become a bigger piece of the puzzle going forward.
Veteran free agent signees Sean Burnett and Pedro Beato also stands to benefit from this decision, as they were already fringe-candidates for the 25-man roster going into spring training.