The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve added lefty Brian Gonzalez and infielder Gunnar Henderson to their 60-man player pool. Both have been assigned to the club’s alternate training site in Bowie. Baltimore’s pool is up to 59 players.
Gonzalez, 24, doesn’t rank among Baltimore’s best prospects but has had success up through the Double-A level, so he could emerge as an eventual bullpen option in 2020. The 2014 third-rounder struggled as a starter in Class-A Advanced and Double-A, but he was moved to a full-time relief role in 2019 and enjoyed his best year since 2016. Gonzalez tallied 53 1/3 innings last season, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and an admittedly bloated 1.5 HR/9 mark. The O’s recently traded southpaw Richard Bleier to the Marlins, so Gonzalez replenishes some of that depth.
Henderson, meanwhile, won’t see any MLB time in 2020. The 19-year-old was Baltimore’s second-round pick in the 2019 draft and hasn’t even reached A-ball yet, so there’s no way the club will put him on the 40-man roster and bring him to the big leagues. That said, he’s widely regarded as one of the rebuilding club’s ten best prospects, so he’ll head to Bowie to get some work with the coaching staff there and see some simulated reps along with the club’s other top minor leaguers. As The Athletic’s Dan Connolly points out on Twitter, the O’s now have all of their Top 11 prospects (per Baseball America’s rankings) either on their MLB roster or at their Bowie site.