Amaro encouraged by Gonzalez's first start
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have tempered expectations for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez since they signed him to a $12 million contract in August.
Gonzalez allowed two hits, one run, walked four and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings Saturday in his Phillies and Grapefruit League debuts against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. 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 Gonzalez's first time pitching in a game in two years.
"He was rusty and he wasn't throwing a lot of strikes," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "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.