If you want something to look forward to, you won’t have long to wait for the announcement from the Philadelphia Phillies regarding their expanded roster. Some of the Triple-A prospects are more obvious than others.
There will be a published Red Alert and/or Storyline each week. Please, scroll down for this edition of Pinstripe Focus: A Preview for 2015.
This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Reading people is the answer to their decisions: past, present and future. Also, there is a humanizing element.
A Preview for 2015:
Even though an accepted three-year offer of $48 million became $12 million, the creativeness of this acquisition went unnoticed: The amount dropped after his physical. Bone chips were removed from his right elbow in January 2012, which was 18 months before he pitched in Mexico. Then, many scribes and fans chalked up his signing as another failure by Ruben Amaro Jr. after seven months in Florida, three straight clunkers as a starter and a dead arm. In mid-May, however, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez joined the Single-A Clearwater Threshers’ bullpen, and the watching here began immediately after his first relief effort. But the interest in Philly was still nonexistent after five games, six innings, eight punch outs, no walks and a 1.80 ERA, which was a major improvement from those first three starts: 9 1/3 frames, three strikeouts, nine free passes and an 0-2 record with a 6.75 ERA.
Eventually, Gonzalez’s promotion to Double-A Reading caught the eye of a few reporters, but many writers gave it only a passing mention. About halfway through his Double-A stint, he finally began to get some media attention: six contests, eight innings, 15 punch outs, no bases on balls, three saves and a 1.13 ERA. He had a blown save for Reading in a sixth-inning appearance–and one for Clearwater during an eighth-frame hold–and his final line for Double-A ball after 11 games was 14 1/3 frames, 24 strikeouts, seven walks, five saves and a 3.14 ERA.
Through August 18 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he had a 3.12 ERA and two saves for seven contests: 8 2/3 innings, seven punch outs and seven free passes (one intentional). Currently, his endurance is around 40 pitches with a 93-94 mph heater that touches 97 mph; he also has north-south and west-east curveballs among his extraordinary arsenal.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Amaro provided this quote:
“And at some point, we may be looking more at what we have to do for 2015 as far as what’s going on, on the field. But until then, we’ll make the decision when it’s the appropriate time, when it’s time to start to looking to 2015 and beyond. We’re not quite there yet.”
Beginning on September 1, the Phillies’ brass will eyeball the hurler against MLB hitters because next summer some rotation spots will need filling: They want their money’s worth and must give pitching coach Bob McClure time to work with the fireballer and map out his offseason program.
By May, Gonzalez will be the three-slot starter.
(A complementary piece on Gonzalez and the pen plan)
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