Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, currently contributing out of the bullpen, will be stretched out as a starter in spring training next year, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. Gonzalez and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract in August last year after the right-hander defected from Cuba. Gonzalez’s Phillies career got off to a rocky start as he suffered from inflammation in his right shoulder, delaying his professional debut until mid-May.
The Phillies lack starting pitching depth, as Kyle Kendrick is soon to be a free agent, Cole Hamels could be dealt, A.J. Burnett could retire, and Cliff Lee’s health is still a question mark.
Gonzalez has logged only 4 1/3 innings in the majors thus far, but he’s had poor results, posting an 8.31 ERA with a 4/3 K/BB ratio. In the minor leagues, he progressed from Single-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, compiling 46 1/3 innings in total. Across all three levels, he had a 3.11 ERA with a 54/26 K/BB ratio.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.