The Miami Marlins have been shaking up their pitching corps all winter, signing relievers Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa, signing starters Edinson Volquez and Jeff Locke, and trading for starter Dan Straily. In a much more minor deal announced yesterday, the Fish acquired righty Severino Gonzalez from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Gonzalez will work as a starter for the Marlins despite having more recent experience working out of the bullpen. He’ll almost certainly begin the year in Triple-A New Orleans. Gonzalez has appeared in 34 major league games, starting seven of them. He’s compiled a 6.68 ERA across 66 innings pitched, striking out 62 while only walking 14. Despite the ugly ERA and mostly uninspiring minor-league numbers, the strikeout-to-walk ratio is very promising.
Gonzalez is a standard four-pitch pitcher, throwing a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. His best pitch is his slider, but he sets it up with a pedestrian fastball that averages 91.4 mph and tops out in the mid-90s. He can rely too much on his breaking stuff since his fastball is usually not powerful enough to put hitters away.
Still, there’s almost no risk here for the Marlins, and pitching depth is always a welcome addition to a team with playoff aspirations (however far-fetched those may be). Gonzalez will see some time in a Marlins uniform this season once injuries and fatigue start to come into play on the big-league squad. He’s likely better served as a reliever, where he can give it his all for an inning or two (his fastball as a starter averaged only 89.2 mph compared to 93.5 as a reliever.) Regardless, the Marlins feel their relief depth is satisfactory and will use Gonzalez as rotation depth.