White Sox bring back veteran pitcher to help stabilize starting rotation for the upcoming season. How many different ways can the pitcher help in 2018?
With the recent free-agent addition of Miguel Gonzalez, the Sox added a much-needed arm to their starting rotation. Most Sox fans already know about Gonzalez, who played on the South Side in 2016-17. But, how can he help the ballclub this upcoming season? Let’s take a look.
Considering the Sox will have a young rotation, the first way he could aid his fellow staff members is through leadership. While Gonzalez could have help from fellow veteran James Shields in this department as well, his fluidity in Spanish will only further assist the development of youngster Reynaldo Lopez. That is going to be a key for the Sox long-term, as Lopez may end up being a front-end caliber starter down the line.
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On top of that, with the club having a less than formidable bullpen, Gonzalez’s ability to eat innings will be a major asset. Keep in mind this is a pitcher who went at least six innings seventeen times last year, compiling a total of 156 innings in 27 starts. While that may not be anywhere near 200 innings, it is nothing to be ashamed of considering he went 63 percent of the time. In other words, he went six or more frames nearly two-thirds of the time he went to the mound.
Here is the main way he will impact the Sox in 2018, his performance. Keep in mind that Gonzalez was brought to the South Side on a one-year deal, and with that being the case it is likely Rick Hahn will trade him at some point this summer. The only way he will demand anything of value in return is to pitch well, however, it is unlikely the Sox obtain a top 100 prospect for Gonzalez. Even though his return may be minimal, it is more than worth it for additional assets.
Before we wrap up, this signing is a win-win for the Sox. Considering the fact that Gonzalez will earn only $4.75 million this year, there are not many teams that will shy away from his deal if they are interested in him in July. Who that will be is to be determined, however, don’t be surprised if someone acquires him this summer.
All in all, Gonzalez is going to help the Sox this season regardless of whether he finishes the season here or not. Unless he gets injured early on, Gonzalez’s leadership will impact the youngsters in the rotation and bullpen, mostly by example. Hopefully, he pitches well, because in that case, he can demand a return at some point this upcoming campaign. Given these are best-case scenarios, but all teams are thinking about those until April comes around. As with every year, Sox fans.