Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez was knocked around for eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings last Friday in his first minor league rehab start with High-A Potomac. He saw some improvement tonight.
Gonzalez, who is working his way back from shoulder inflammation, allowed just one run and struck out seven batters over four innings for High-A Potomac. While he walked four batters, he told James Wagner of the Washington Post that it was a byproduct of him working on his offspeed pitches. The important part is that he felt good and got stretched out to 79 pitches. The southpaw feels “ready to go” and lines up to rejoin the Nationals’ rotation next week.
Gonzalez, 28, posted a 4.62 ERA and 53/20 K/BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings across nine starts prior to landing on the disabled list last month.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”