ALLENTOWN -- Miguel Alfredo hit his first rough patch for Triple-A Lehigh Valley during his third relief appearance for the IronPigs. Pitching for a second straight day, the Cuban righthander who signed a three-year $12 million contract, struggled during his one inning in Tuesday’s 8-5 loss to the visiting Durham Bulls.
Gonzalez allowed three runs, two which were earned, on two hits. He also walked two and struck out one in throwing 28 pitches, 15 for strikes. His fastball topped out at 94 miles per hour.
“(Monday) he pounded the bottom of the zone,” said Cameron Rupp, who caught Gonzalez both nights. “Today he threw a couple of pitches up, it happens.”
On Monday, Gonzalez’s fastball topped at 96 MPH. In his one inning of work he allowed one hit, struck out a batter and only threw 12 pitches.
Gonzalez’s story has been well documented. He had a sore shoulder in spring training and began the year in extended spring training. He then pitched for Single-A Clearwater and was shut down for a little under a month due to a dead arm. When he returned, Gonzalez was moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and he has enjoyed more success. The Phillies have indicated that it’s possible after this season they could revisit using him as a starter.
It was the third time this season that Gonzalez has thrown consecutive games. The first came June 28-29 when he threw one scoreless inning in each outing for Clearwater.
The second instance was July 19 and 20 for Reading. He threw a scoreless inning the first night and allowed one earned run the next.
IronPigs manager Dave Brundage said that Gonzalez’s subpar outing against Durham had nothing to do with pitching consecutive days.
“No, his stuff was OK,” Brundage said. “It was more the thought process.”
Brundage felt Gonzalez threw too many breaking pitches.
“Today he missed with a couple of fastballs and primarily went with offspeed pitches,” Brundage said. “…He threw more breaking pitches than I probably would have liked to see.”
Rupp said Gonzalez, who turns 28 next month, has made major strides since spring training.
“His fastball has been very explosive and guys haven’t put too many good swings on it,” Rupp said. “The breaking stuff is coming along and I think he has a good changeup and breaking ball. If he continues work, he will have a chance to successful.”