The Phillies announced on Saturday that 22-year-old right-hander Severino Gonzalez will make his big league debut on Tuesday at St. Louis.
The Panama native was honored as the Phils’ top minor league pitcher with the annual Paul Owens Award in 2013 when he posted a 7-5 record, a 2.00 ERA, a .224 batting average against along with his 10.33 K/9 and his 1.91 BB/9 combined across three levels.
Last year at Double-A Reading, Gonzalez’s stats took a dip. En route to leading all Phillies minor leaguers in starts and innings, he posted a 9-13 record with a 4.59 ERA with a 6.52 K/9 mark. Not great numbers there, but he wrapped up his 2014 campaign nicely, notching a 3-1 record and a 2.53 ERA in his final five starts of the season.
This year, with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the six-foot-two 155-pounder has tallied a 1-1 record and a 3.57 ERA along with nine strike outs and two walks in 17 2/3 innings over three starts.
To put the progress of Gonzalez, at age 22 in the big leagues this week, into perspective, there are six pitchers on the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws roster (four levels down) that are older than Gonzalez.
What to expect:
Gonzalez’s repertoire includes a cut fastball that peaks in the low 90’s, a curve ball that dives down and away from righty hitters as well as a a quality change up.
He’s got movement, it’s just the other way. It’s not a sinker, he’s got a natural cut to it, which helps him out against righties and lefties, actually. His fastball’s running away from righties a lot and running into lefties, so he’s able to get the ball inside to lefties and away from righties pretty good. So, it’s not every straight, so there’s always some movement. It’s just not sink movement, it’s the other way. It works. It’s something you don’t see a whole lot, but it works.
Click here for a close look at Gonzalez’s curve ball.
Is he a lock to remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future? I don’t think so. But, it’s fully possible Gonzalez could surprise people and be better than serviceable going forward, much like David Buchanan did last year for the Phillies.
A 40-man roster move will need to be made to accommodate the addition of the man referred to by teammates as “Chevito”. Phillippe Aumont took the vacated spot in Lehigh Valley’s starting rotation on Sunday.