Miguel Gonzalez has shown he could be a viable starter for this team. With Carson Fulmer on the way, could the White Sox have their rotation?
Pitching has really been the achilles heal of the Chicago White Sox all season long. James Shields and Anthony Ranaudo have struggled all year. Both have shown they shouldn’t be options for this team. Conventional wisdom may tell us they need to sign a starter but they may have an in-house option already.
Miguel Gonzalez quietly returned from injury and threw a shutout over 6.1 innings in a 2-0 win over the Tigers. And the 32-year-old right hander hasn’t done so bad for the White Sox this season.
Gonzalez is 3-6 with a 3.81 ERA this season. He had a rocky start to the season but has since pitched much better. He posted a 2.50 ERA in July while going 1-2. In fact, his worst month was June where he had a 5.86 ERA. Aside from that, his ERA has been under 3.90 every month, except April where he made just one start.
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In 13 of his 19 starts he has pitched at least six innings. He was pulled in one start after an inning because of an injury. It’s very important that the guys at the bottom of your rotation can eat up innings, so you don’t overuse your bullpen. Something the White Sox have struggled with all year. Gonzalez definitely has shown he can go deep into games when his stuff is working.
One concern would be he is showed to be inconsistent but he has shown he can pitch well. As recently as 2014 he made 26 starts and had a 3.23 ERA for the Orioles. The next season he made 26 starts but his ERA ballooned to 4.91. The White Sox hope would be they can get the Miguel Gonzalez of 2014 and that they have seen recently.
He may not have many great years left but pitchers have shown they can be effective well into their 30s. Look at what Bartolo Colon is doing for the Mets. With the White Sox in a state of flux it’s important they try to find players from within the organization that can produce. Gonzalez has shown he can hold on a spot in the rotation. With Carson Fulmer hopefully breaking camp next season in the rotation paired with Gonzalez, the White Sox could spend their money upgrading the bullpen and plugging some holes in the outfield.
With guys like Spencer Adams and Alec Hansen in the minors, Gonzalez could be a stop gap until one them are ready to make their debut. This organization has shown they can develop pitchers to a certain extent. The top four should be set for next season. The one missing piece would be a fifth starter. Gonzalez has pitched well enough this season for him to get serious consideration for the job. But what is perfectly clear is Ranaudo and Shields have no business being in this rotation next season.