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Michael Gonzalez Rumors
Left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez asked for his release, which the Nationals reportedly granted. The news comes via Max Wildstein of CalltothePen.com (Twitter link). Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter) confirmed the move was an opt out by Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has yet to pitch at the major league level this season, but he did turn in a good 2.78 ERA with 7.15 K/9 and 3.97 BB/9 through 22 and 2/3 Triple-A innings. He made 75 appearances for the Brewers last season, pitching to a 4.68 ERA over 50 innings. He’s been much tougher against lefties throughout his career, which is why the Brewers used him in such a specialized role. Any number of contenders could be interested in the 36-year-old lefty specialist.
The Nationals have released southpaw reliever Michael Gonzalez, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Gonzalez had a Thursday opt-out date, notes Mark Zuckerman of CSNwashington.com (on Twitter).
The 35-year-old seemed a long shot for a slot after the club decided to add Ross Detwiler to the pen. He joined the Nats just three weeks ago after spending 2013 with the Brewers. Gonzalez was an important part of the Nationals club down the stretch in 2012, after signing mid-season.
Former Colorado Rockie Ryan Spilborghs has been blogging for The Denver Post about his experiences playing for the Seibu Lions in Japan this season, and he weighs in on the issue of PEDs in his latest post. While Spilborghs doesn't approve of PED use, he suggests that baseball's long season can push players too far without giving them enough time to recover. A better model may be the schedule adopted by Japan's NPB league, which has teams playing 144 games in about 180 days, Spilborghs says.
Some more notes from around the senior circuit…
- Ike Davis will rejoin the Mets on Friday for their matchup with the Brewers, a source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Davis was demoted on June 10 after hitting just .161/.242/.258 in 207 plate appearances, but work with Triple-A coaches to address a hitch in Davis' swing was apparently successful, as the first baseman has compiled a .293/.424/.667 line with the Las Vegas 51s. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes speculated in a May post that Davis could be a non-tender candidate this offseason.
- The Dodgers are expected to activate outfielder Carl Crawford from the DL as soon as Friday, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Los Angeles will soon be faced with a long-anticipated glut of regular outfielders, with Crawford joining Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and sensation Yasiel Puig on the active roster. Manager Don Mattingly acknowledges that it will be a "sticky" situation to manage. It remains to be seen whether the Dodgers will consider moving Andre Ethier, who was given a five-year, $85MM extension just over a year ago.
- While Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers has been the subject of trade dialogue, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the righty is determined not to let the rumors affect him. "We all hear things. I'm not going to lie. … But basically I just leave it at that. I hear them, and then don't think about it too much." Gallardo did acknowledge, however, that he had become aware of some of the teams on his no-trade list.
- Though the loss of Jesse Crain to the DL dampens the reliever market, a number of potentially available NL hurlers could help bolster a contender's bullpen, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes. The Cubs' Kevin Gregg has earned 14 saves in 15 opportunities, while the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez is a perfect seven for seven in save chances and could help the Tigers, Rosenthal says. John Axford, Milwaukee's former closer, could also be a useful piece.
- The Marlins could offer Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, or Ryan Webb, as they have power arms in the pipeline and "never mind trading relievers," according to Rosenthal. Both Cishek and Dunn have been effective for the Fish and become eligible for arbitration after this season. Miami could have a tougher time finding a taker for Webb, however, as he's shown discouraging strikeout and walk trends.
- Rosenthal is also less high on the Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon, noting his high salary and declining strikeout rate, and the Brewers' Michael Gonzalez, a lefty who opponents have managed a .746 OPS against despite his high K/9 rate.
MLBTR's Jeff Todd contributed to this post.