The Marlins selected infielder Erik González onto the major league roster before yesterday’s game against the Padres. Reliever Richard Bleier was placed on the COVID-19 injured list in a corresponding move.
Whenever González gets into a game, it’ll be his seventh consecutive year with some MLB action. Originally an Indians’ prospect, the Dominican Republic native bounced on and off the big league roster with Cleveland between 2016-18. Regarded as a fairly promising young player, he was blocked out of the regular infield by the trio of Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and José Ramírez. González didn’t perform especially well when given opportunities, and Cleveland traded him to the Pirates over the 2018-19 offseason.
He spent three years with the Bucs, getting a little more run than he’d had in Cleveland. Between 2019-21, the right-handed hitter accrued roughly the equivalent of one full season of playing time. He managed just a .236/.268/.324 line in that time, making a fair amount of contact but hitting plenty of ground-balls and only walking in 4.3% of his plate appearances. The Pirates outrighted González off their 40-man roster last August, and he elected minor league free agency at the end of the year.
The Fish signed the 30-year-old to a minors deal during the lockout. He’s gotten off to a scorching .392/.417/.526 start in 103 plate appearances, although that’s in large part due to an unsustainable .481 batting average on balls in play. Nevertheless, González is a solid defender all around the dirt and can offer some insurance behind Miami’s primary infield of Jesús Aguilar, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miguel Rojas and Joey Wendle.
Miami brought up both González and Joe Dunand over the weekend after losing infield options Brian Anderson and Jon Berti to the COVID list. Bleier became the third player in as many days to land on the shelf, subtracting perhaps skipper Don Mattingly’s most trusted late-game lefty from the mix. Bleier, who signed a two-year extension during Spring Training, has allowed four runs in 8 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and a pair of walks in 2022.