WASHINGTON — When the Phillies signed Miguel Gonzalez to an amended three-year, $12 million deal, they asked him to spend his time in Florida and learn the ways of American professional baseball. They view the Cuban pitcher as their potential third starter in 2014, but are not concerned with him pitching in a competitive environment before spring training.
"I don't think there is any necessity for him to go throw winter ball or anything like that," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "We just want to see where he's at. We want to get him assimilated into our organization and be ready to go for spring training."
Gonzalez, who turns 27 on Sept. 23, will remain a great mystery until next spring. The Phillies have him working with players in the Florida Instructional League this fall, but Proefrock said he was unsure whether Gonzalez will actually pitch in a game.
So much is unknown about the righthanded pitcher. His agent, Jaime Torres, arranged for games in Mexico when Gonzalez defected from Cuba so scouts could see him. He was suspended from pitching in Cuban baseball leagues for two years before that, and his experience is limited.