Mike Gonzalez’s inability to land a bullpen gig this offseason always seemed weird to me.
Certainly his lengthy injury history played a big part, especially since he underwent knee surgery shortly after last season, but he has a 2.94 career ERA and was effective last year with a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio in 53 innings for the Orioles and Rangers.
He wasn’t able to find a big-league job but at least Gonzalez has signed somewhere, agreeing to a minor-league contract with the Nationals.
Washington could use the relief depth with closer Drew Storen and fill-in closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then presumably join the Triple-A bullpen.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)