From Mystery Man to Garbage Man
We all know the long, strange trip it was for the Phillies to sign Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The was a long period of time before the signing was announced, then some doubt was thrown onto the situation when the amount of money in the contract took a nosedive after there was concern about his elbow. Then the Phillies announced that he would not be playing in 2013 due to the fact he hadn’t pitched competitively in quite some time. Okay, that makes sense, we all though. Then, just before spring training, Ruben and Sandberg said they hadn’t seen him pitch yet, with the latter calling him a “mystery man”. The fact that the GM hadn’t seen a guy throw that they just invested millions of dollars in seemed a little strange. Once spring started the reports on him were underwhelming. Now, they are still underwhelming. Both Matt Gelb and David Murphy both basically said the same thing: he’s not throwing the ball well, but there’s plenty of time for him to get better.
I didn’t necessarily expect him to be a starter this year, and I guess I knew he might have to start in the minors, but the reports out of Clearwater just don’t sound good. It really sounds like this guy could be a bust. If he is a bust, and yes, it’s way too early to tell, the Phillies have to do something about their scouting. It’s just not getting the job done. You may recall the Phillies first foray into the Asian market was a major bust when they signed two Korean pitchers that never amounted to much. Now, their entry into the Cuban pitching market might end up the same way.