Philadelphia Phillies are hoping that Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez can have a major impact for them. And if the organization plays it right, the Cuban pitcher will have his chance as soon as the 2014 season.
For the Phillies, the 2014 rotation is beginning to shape. Cliff Lee is still under contract and so is Cole Hamels, and they will obviously be at the top of the order. Kyle Kendrick has one year left of salary arbitration, and Jonathan Pettibone could be penciled in as a decent No. 5.
And that leaves one open spot — a spot that should go to the Phillies’ newest acquisition, Gonzalez.
Spending all of his career pitching in Cuba, Gonzalez has shown incredible ability and according to baseball scouts, he projects to be a middle to top-of-rotation starter in the major leagues. The only problem with that is Gonzalez is already 26, so any development needs to happen soon. He will do the Phillies no good if he languishes in the minors.
And for that reason, it really makes no sense for the Phillies not to pencil Gonzalez into the 2014 starting rotation. He is going to head to the Florida Instructional League and then will be up with the big league club come spring training. It is not as if the Phillies don’t have a spot either.
Roy Halladay likely will not be re-signed because of his desire to win a ring before retiring and the Phillies not quite being in that place right now. With that, the spot Halladay would have occupied as third in the rotation is open and is the perfect place to start Gonzalez.
The Phillies don’t normally spend big internationally, and the three-year, $12 million deal they signed Gonzalez to is the largest in team history. And that is money that won’t be wasted.
Gonzalez will pitch with the Phillies at some point, and there is no reason to expect that it won’t, or at the very least, that it shouldn’t happen in 2014.