Guardians lefty Anthony Gose underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday, per the team. He’ll miss the remainder of the current season, of course, and quite likely all of the 2023 campaign as well, given the timing of the procedure.
Gose, 32, was a second-round pick, as an outfielder, by the Phillies back in 2008. Traded to Houston as one of the headline prospects in the deal that brought Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia, Gose eventually landed in Toronto after a one-for-one flip that sent fellow top prospect Brett Wallace to the Astros.
While Gose did indeed make it to the big leagues as an outfielder, he hit just .240/.309/.348 in parts of five seasons — three with the Jays and two with the Tigers. Touted for his blazing speed, Gose never managed to reach base enough or come up with enough power to keep his place in the Majors.
A former two-way star in high school, Gose began working off the mound again with the Tigers in 2017 and, by 2018, had become a full-time pitcher in the Rangers organization. He signed with Cleveland in 2019 and has spent the past several seasons remaking himself as a flamethrowing reliever, showing off the arm strength that helped make him such a promising outfield prospect in a new way: with a triple-digit heater.
Gose pitched in 28 games for the Indians/Guardians across the past two seasons, logging a combined 27 2/3 innings with a 3.90 ERA, a 31.9% strikeout rate and a 13.8% walk rate. While command has been an issue for him, he averaged just shy of 98 mph on his fastball and generated an impressive 15% swinging-strike rate in his limited big league work on the mound. The potential for an impactful, high-leverage relief role was there, if Gose could scale back the free passes a bit.
Gose hit the injured list earlier this summer with what was initially announced as a left triceps strain. At the time, the injury wasn’t believed to be particularly serious, though certainly things have changed. It’s not clear whether Gose sustained a ligament tear while working back from that triceps issue or if there was simply more damage in the arm than initially discovered or divulged, but the end result is the same: another sizable roadblock in one of the more atypical baseball journeys we’ve seen in recent years. Gose is a feel-good story of perseverance whether he makes it back to the mound in what would be his age-34 season or not, but it’s hard not to root for another comeback after all the struggles he’s already endured.