Feb 12, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (75) works out as they report at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies' Sandberg 'not impressed' by Miguel Gonzalez

A Cuban defector who made headlines as one to watch in the off season hasn’t endeared himself to his new club.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is something of a mystery to the Phillies. He has pitched as a member of the Cuban national team in the World Baseball Classic and pitched some for the team La Habana from 2007-2009. He is returning from injury and most perceived it as a big gamble when the Phillies signed him in August. Even the contract was surrounded in controversy. One month earlier, it had been reported that Gonzalez had signed  a six-year, $60 million contract, but the team never confirmed it. Undisclosed health issues seemed to have been the biggest issue and the contract ended up being only for 3-years and $12 million.

Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer asked manager Ryne Sandberg his impressions of the Cuban pitcher.

Well, a guy that is coming back from injury and hasn’t pitched competitively for a couple of years, I know that we’re using a lot of patience with him. That’s really the biggest part of the strategy with him. So we’ll see. We’ll see how things go and how he progresses.

Arm strength seems to be the biggest issue for Gonzalez, according to reports, and he could end up starting the season with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies

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