We didn't learn a whole lot about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in the Phillies' 4-0 loss to the Yankees on Saturday afternoon. The Cuban right-hander finally debuted, but his performance was uneven and his velocity wasn't all the way there.
Gonzalez struck out the first two Yankees he faced, but was wild after that, walking four batter over 1.2 innings and needing 51 pitches to record five outs.
Gonzalez showed a fastball, curveball and a splitter. His fastball reached as high as 93 in the first inning, but sat around 90 thereafter. He didn't control the splitter too well, but Cameron Rupp didn't help him out, either, turning a catchable pitch into a passed ball.
Gonzalez, through a translator, told reporters that he believes he can get more pop on his fastball. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Phillies scouts had seen Gonzalez's fastball at 97 mph.
Ryne Sandberg, however, said that in the first inning against the Yankees, Gonzalez's fastball showed more life than it had all spring.
Gonzalez is signed to a three-year, $12 million contract, but the Phillies hold three options on him and could send him to the minors to start the season. Amaro told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com earlier this week that the Phils wouldn't open the season with Gonzalez unless they felt he could help them.
Two other starting pitching nuggets:
- David Buchanan started the game for the Phillies and struck out three over two scoreless innings. One of the Ks was of Derek Jeter.
Buchanan went unclaimed in the Rule 5 draft in December and was invited to Phillies spring training late. But with setbacks to Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin and uncertainty surrounding Gonzalez, the former seventh-round pick could make a few starts for the Phillies in 2014.
Buchanan in 79 starts at five different minor-league stops in the Phils' system went 30-26 with a 3.98 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 5.6 K/9. He has decent control, and there's no reason he couldn't be a Kyle Kendrick-type in the future.
- A.J. Burnett makes his spring training debut for the Phillies Sunday at 1:05 p.m., when the Phils host Burnett's former Pirates. The game is on CSN.