Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Has Miguel Gonzalez Earned a Spot in the Rotation?

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I would say definitely.

Miguel Gonzalez has been one of the many great stories that have happened in Baltimore this season and he could not have emerged at a better time. With the exception of Wei-Yin Chen the Orioles’ Ppening Day 5-man rotation is either in the minors or on the disabled list; Jason Hammel was placed on the 15 day DL and had surgery on a loose piece of cartilage earlier today.

Although Gonzalez’s sample size is small in the majors it is impressive. In his first three appearances for the Orioles Gonzalez pitched out of the bullpen going three innings or more in each of those contests and held his opponents to only one run in each outing. After going down to the minors to get ready to be used as a starter he was able to duplicate his success and held a very hot Angels team to only 1 run while going 7 strong innings and earning himself the W.

In Gonzalez’s second start he was able to go only 5 2/3 innings but still held a very potent Detroit lineup to only 3 runs, giving himself and his team more then enough to earn a victory; unfortunately he was going up again the guy I think is the game’s best pitcher in Justin Verlander, who held the Orioles to only 3 hits.

Miguel Gonzalez has a lot of the qualities you want to see in a starting pitcher – he doesn’t get rattled after giving up a run, keeping him out of the big inning, and he seems to be able to  to execute the clutch pitches when he needs them the most in order to get out of jams. I like Gonzo as a starter; he gives the Orioles a chance to win which is something fans didn’t see as often as we would like from Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Dana Eveland.

However if the offense doesn’t flip a switch and start scoring runs quality pitching is a moot point. Hopefully the infuse of the young trio that includes Gonzalez, a new-and-improved Chris Tillman (this piece was written prior to Monday night’s debacle in Minny) and  a healthy Zach Britton can spark the Orioles’ bats and get this team back on track and keep them in the playoff hunt.

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