Miguel Gonzalez threw 14 pitches in a relief appearance today, his first back-to-back appearances since restarting his rehab as a reliever. It was reported that his fastball peaked at 95-96 mph Saturday night. He followed that up with 92-94 mph on 10 of his 11 fastballs on Sunday. One fastball dipped to 91. He threw 3 off-speed pitches, two 77 mph curve balls and an 81 mph slider(?). The first batter fell behind 0-2 and fouled off a pitch before hitting a soft cue shot that found space between Art Charles and Angelo Mora on the right side. It barely reached the outfield grass. Gonzalez struck out the next batter after falling behind 2-0. The third batter lined a ball back through the box that Gonzalez grabbed between his ankles. He easily doubled up the runner off first.
Gonzalez threw 10 strikes among his 14 pitches. He was unable to throw any of his 3 off-speed pitches for a strike. From my vantage point behind the scouts behind home plate. it seemed to me that his fastball travels in a straight line. I couldn’t detect much movement, but he was pretty accurate with it. He was able to hit Gabriel Lino’s glove without the catcher having to move it very much. I’ve seen Gonzalez in XST, earlier with the Threshers as a starter, and recently when he began relieving. This was the most effective I’ve seen him.
It’s great being able to watch Roman Quinn and JP Crawford play. They both seem to have settled into their new environments. Their sped at the top of the order has made Threshers’ at bats more interesting. Today, for instance, Quinn started the first inning with a walk. Crawford chopped a ball to the first baseman. He had to throw over Quinn’s shoulder to get the force at second. Quinn’s speed put him on top of the shortstop as he released an inaccurate throw to get the hard-running Crawford. The first baseman crashed to the ground as he stretched to gather in the errant throw. The umpire called Crawford out. In an unusual minor league version of replay, manager Nelson Prada raced over to “challange” the umpire on his call. After a very short exchange, the umpire jogged to the home plate umpire. After another very short discussion, the call was overturned. The defender’s foot had come off the bag.
Aaron Nola is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night.