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Phillies hurler Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to begin rehab assignment on Thursday

May 14, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez AP AP

The Phillies signed Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a three-year, $12 million contract last August. His time with the team hasn’t gone according to plan. Due to the right-hander’s struggles defecting from Cuba, he hadn’t played competitive baseball for a long time when he showed up to Clearwater, Florida for spring training. What the Phillies saw was a pitcher far different than the guy they had scouted over the prior year, and Gonzalez ended up needing time on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

Delaware Online’s Chris Branch reports that Gonzalez is ready to head out on a rehab assignment after some very positive reports came back to the Phillies on his progress. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said Gonzalez was topping out at 95 MPH on his fastball, much better than the high-80’s fastball Gonzalez was throwing in spring training.

Gonzalez will begin his rehab assignment on Thursday and get the ball rolling on his professional career. It will still be a while before the Phillies could reasonably utilize him, but they’re desperate to fix up the bullpen — their 4.68 bullpen ERA currently ranks as the fourth-worst in baseball.

  1. mikhelb - May 14, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    I would not say he was not playing competitive baseball for a long time, his team reached (and lost) the finals… BUT: Gonz├ílez was not throwing very hard all season long (attended his games, heck there were 12-15,000 regularly in those games in attendance), he threw harder when MLB scouts were paid to attend games where Gonz├ílez was showcased, but not 95 mph.

  2. xmatt0926x - May 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    This season appears to be dead for the Phillies. As long as this guy gets some time in this season, it’s a win for the team. There’s no need to rush him to try to save this years team. It would be like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic, as they say. The Phillies are much more than one addition to the bullpen away from competing.

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