Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez exists, people. He finally took a mound to face (some) major-league hitters Saturday afternoon in Tampa against the Yankees.
Gonzalez struck out the first two batters he faced, but ended up walking four over 1 2/3 innings. It took him 51 pitches to record five outs before being pulled for Rule 5 reliever Kevin Munson.
Gonzalez showed a fastball that ranged from 89-93 mph, a splitter and a curveball. Gonzalez hit 93 in the first inning but was mostly 89-90 in the second.
After the game, he told reporters that he was happy with his first performance and believes he can throw harder. Ryne Sandberg told reporters that the first inning was the best the Phils had seen Gonzalez throw all spring.
Here’s where we are with MAG: The Phillies are paying him $4 million in 2014, but hold three options on him and can send him to the minors to open the season if they deem it necessary. Ruben Amaro Jr. said earlier this week that the Phillies will not have Gonzalez on the 25-man roster unless they think he can help.
David Buchanan’s start
David Buchanan made 79 starts at five different minor-league levels for the Phillies after being taken in the seventh round in 2010, but he was unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. After he went unclaimed, the Phillies extended him a late invite to spring training.
On Saturday, he made the most of it.
Buchanan looked sharp, striking out three Yankees (including Derek Jeter) over two scoreless innings. He’s a Kyle Kendrick-type, and I’ll bet he makes at least one start for the Phillies this season. He’s already jumped ahead of Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin on the organizational depth chart for the time being, since both pitchers have dealt with shoulder pain in Clearwater.
A.J. Burnett’s next
Burnett makes his Phillies spring debut Sunday at 1:05 p.m. against his former Pirates. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet.