Results tagged ‘ Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez ’

Gonzalez A Reliever For Now

Alfredo Miguel GonzalezThe Phillies signed Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a three-year, $12 million contract last year because they believed he would pitch in their rotation this season.

But Gonzalez, who had health concerns before the Phillies signed him, has been plagued with shoulder issues. He has been healthy recently, however, and the Phillies today activated him from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A Reading, where he will pitch out of the bullpen.

“We started stretching him out and when he got past 40 pitches he wasn’t able to handle it physically and stay in his mechanics,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We decided to go ahead and make him a reliever for now. Once he gets his feet on the ground we’ll try to stretch him out for next year.”

So he could be a starter in the future?

“He could, yeah,” Amaro said.

If his shoulder holds up. Asked if Gonzalez’s latest MRI looked clean, Amaro said, “It’s kind of like normal changes like a lot of guys, but he’s physically fine now.”

Gonzalez has been throwing well during a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater. He touched 97 mph recently when he got upset at an opposing player.

“He got a little rammy,” Amaro said. “We’ll see how rammy he can get. We’re just trying to get him reps right now and get him going and competing. We’ll see where it takes us. We’ll evaluate him like everybody else in our system. Hopefully he can handle Double-A and we’ll go from there.”

Could he be in the big leagues this year?

“Can I see it? If he throws 96 or 97, or 94 or 95 or whatever and gets people out consistently, yeah,” Amaro said. “Why not? A lot of depends on his performance.”

Phillies Place 6 on DL

Cole HamelsThe Phillies on Friday afternoon announced they have placed six players on the 15-day disabled list:

  • Right-hander Mike Adams, recovering from right shoulder surgery (retroactive to March 26).
  • Infielder Freddy Galvis, left knee infection (retroactive to March 21).
  • Right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, right shoulder tendinitis (retroactive to March 21).
  • Left-hander Cole Hamels, left biceps tendinitis (retroactive to March 21).
  • Right-hander Ethan Martin, right shoulder inflammation (retroactive to March 21).
  • Outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf, left oblique strain (retroactive to March 21).

Adams hopes he can rejoin the Phillies bullpen by April 15. Galvis, who is recovering from MRSA, could be back by the middle of the month, too.

The Phillies have indicated Hamels could rejoin the rotation before the end of April.

The Phillies said on March 21 that Ruf could miss 4-6 weeks. Martin just started throwing, and Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently Gonzalez could be a candidate for the 60-day DL to give them flexibility for the 40-man roster.

Sore Shoulders Everywhere: Gonzalez Latest

Alfredo Miguel GonzalezAnother week, another sore shoulder for a Phillies pitcher.

Right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez did not pitch as scheduled today in a Grapefruit League game against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium because he has a sore right shoulder. The Phillies said he first experienced the soreness while throwing yesterday.

Gonzalez already has seen a doctor, and will see a doctor again tomorrow.

“We’re always concerned about guys who are sore,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “But that’s all it is right now. He is day-to-day. … He experienced some soreness in the front of his shoulder. We don’t think it’s anything alarming. He was feeling better today.”

The Phillies are short on starting pitching depth, but it was highly unlikely Gonzalez would have opened the season in the big leagues anyway. He has not looked close to ready after signing a $12 million contract last summer. He allowed four hits, four runs and two walks in one inning Friday against the Orioles, which was the last time he pitched.

The Phillies originally agreed to a $48 million deal in July with Gonzalez, but the deal dropped $36 million following issues with his physical exam. The Phillies have said Gonzalez has been healthy since camp opened, although Amaro said Gonzalez battled arm tightness last month.

Gonzalez joins a list of Phillies pitchers with shoulder issues: Cole Hamels, Mike Adams, Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin.

Amaro Encouraged with MAG

Alfredo Miguel GonzalezThe Phillies have tempered expectations for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez since they signed him to a $12 million contract in August.

He allowed two hits, one run, walked four and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings yesterday in his Phillies and Grapefruit League debuts against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. His fastball hit 93 or 94 mph once, depending on the radar gun, but otherwise sat in the 89-91 mph range. He showed some quality offspeed pitches, particularly his breaking ball, but couldn’t command his fastball.

It was his first time pitching in a game in two years.

“He was rusty and he wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said this morning at Bright House Field. “But I think stuff-wise it was encouraging. He probably threw better with his stuff as far as his velocity and breaking ball since he’s been in camp. It’s a process. We’ve got to let him develop from there. But I was encouraged by his poise. I was encouraged that his stuff was better than it had been in his sides. And hopefully it will continue to progress in a positive way.”

Scouting reports before Gonzalez signed said he threw in the mid-90s.

So where is the heat?

“I think he’s still building it, just like all these other guys,” Amaro said. “It just takes time for guys to build arm strength. I’m not as concerned about the velocity as I am the command and making sure his stuff is consistent. It’ll build.”

Amaro said Gonzalez had some tightness in his arm earlier in the spring, but said Saturday it was not an issue.

“There have been no issues with him thus far,” Amaro said.

Miguel Gonzalez: Man of Mystery

If there is a Man of Mystery in Phillies camp, a Mr. X, an unknown, it is Miguel Gonzalez.

The right-hander defected from Cuba last year before he agreed in July to a $48 million deal with the Phillies. But something happened during his physical and the parties ultimately agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract. He seemed to be destined for a top spot in the Phillies rotation, but the Phillies have lowered expectations for him because they said nobody really knows what kind of pitcher he might be.

Factor in the imminent arrival of A.J. Burnett and he could open the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“I’ve got more to prove to myself than anyone else,” Gonzalez said of his Mystery Man status. “Once I prove it to myself, everyone else will be able to see it clearly.”

Gonzalez said he started throwing bullpens Jan. 6 and feels 100 percent healthy.

“There is more speed, more movement,” he said. “I can tell I’ve progressed.”

Cole Hamels is expected to open the season on the disabled list, but he could be back before the end of April. Once he is healthy, Hamels, Cliff Lee, Burnett and Kyle Kendrick will take the top four spots in the rotation. The Phillies signed Roberto Hernandez to a one-year, $4.5 million contract in December. He is the heavy favorite for the No. 5 spot because Gonzalez, Jonathan Pettibone and others in camp have options.

“Those are decisions that are out of my control,” said Gonzalez, asked if he sees himself in the rotation come Opening Day. “I’m going to do my best to do that, but that (decision) is out of my hands.”

He said he would pitch in the bullpen, if needed, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said he is best suited pitching regularly in a rotation.

Finally, Gonzalez Signs with Phillies

gonzalezIt looked for a few weeks like this might never happen.

But this afternoon the Phillies announced they had signed Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a three-year, $12 million contract. The deal includes a vesting/club option for 2017, plus signing and performance bonuses. If you remember, the Phillies and Gonzalez agreed July 27 to a six-year, $48 million deal with an $11 million option for 2019. But MLB.com reported Aug. 6 the deal hit a snag and could be in jeopardy.

It is believed the Phillies had some concerns about his health following his physical. Gonzalez had bone spurs removed from his right elbow relatively recently.

That is the only reason to explain why the deal dropped from $48 million to $12 million.

But if Gonzalez is healthy and is as good as scouts think he is, he should help the 2014 rotation behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.

“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with Miguel,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “He is someone our scouts have followed for several years and in our most recent observations of him he showed tremendous stuff. We are hopeful he will pitch out of our starting rotation for 2014 and beyond.”

Gonzalez will report to the Phillies’ Spring Training complex in Clearwater, Fla. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, left-hander John Lannan has been moved to the 60-day disabled list.

Deal for Cuban Might Not Happen At All

gonzalezEverybody waiting for the Phillies to officially announce an agreement with Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez might be waiting a while.

In fact, an announcement might never happen.

A source indicated to MLB.com tonight the two parties had hit a snag since word quickly spread July 26 the parties had agreed to a six-year, $48 million contract that included an $11 million option for 2019.

The Phillies have said nothing about Gonzalez since the story broke, not even as much as acknowledging anything might be cooking with the Cuban. Asked just before tonight’s game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park if a deal with Gonzalez might no longer happen, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. repeatedly declined comment.

Since the agreement late last month numerous reports have mentioned scouts with questions about Gonzalez’s elbow. He had bone spurs removed from his elbow sometime within the past two years, although it has been written he had made a full recovery.

Scouts that have seen him pitch recently consider him a No. 3 starter in the big leagues, which would have helped the Phillies entering 2014.

Huge Risk for Phillies in Gonzalez Deal

gonzalezLate last month, Ruben Amaro Jr. sat in the visitors dugout at Dodger Stadium and answered a few questions about the Phillies’ interest in Yasiel Puig.

He said they took a look and had some interesting conversations with his people, but in the end the Dodgers took a “huge risk” and signed him to a $42 million contract.

“It paid off, so far,” Amaro said.

It turns out $42 million is nothing. A source told MLB.com last night the Phillies have agreed to terms with Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six-year, $48 million deal, which includes an $11 million option in 2019. Yep, that’s more than Puig got from the Dodgers. It is also more than the A’s gave outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a four-year, $36 million deal, and the Cubs gave outfielder Jorge Soler, who signed a nine-year, $30 million contract.

It’s a considerable risk. The Phillies have never paid an international player more than $1.2 million, and that happened in 2001 with South Korean right-hander Seung Lee. He proved to be an enormous bust, and just from being around the team since 2003 I always got the feeling Lee’s failures (as well as the failures of South Korean right-hander Il Kim, who got $800,000 from the Phillies in 2001 and also bombed) made the Phillies reluctant to go big on international players.

This is a sign the Phillies don’t plan to go into a true “rebuilding” phase or “blow up” the roster and start from scratch, even if they sell a couple pieces before Wednesday’s trade deadline. They still plan to spend money to help them win next season and beyond. That might be what Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and other potential free agents need to see as they consider their options for the future.

But there certainly is plenty riding on this. The Phillies have not had a great run recently with personnel decisions. No team is perfect, but this is a results business and talent evaluations big and small haven’t worked out particularly well: the talent acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade, releasing Jason Grilli, letting Nate Shierholtz walk, choosing John Bowker over Brandon Moss, Chad Qualls, Danys Baez, betting Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. could be everyday outfielders, not developing a player in the minors that can help them more than Michael Martinez or an outfielder that would be better than carrying three catchers out of the All-Star break, etc. They certainly have had some successes, but the team is on its way to missing the postseason for the second consecutive year. Now would be a great time for Amaro’s scouts to hit big.

“You hope those things work out,” Amaro said last month. “Hideki Irabu didn’t work out. [Jose] Contreras worked out on certain levels. [Rey] Ordonez. Dice-K [Daisuke Matsuzaka]. It’s a risk.”

Which way will Gonzalez fall? It will be fascinating to find out.

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