Before they each arrived in Florida this month, neither manager Ryne Sandberg or general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had ever seen him pitch. Frankly, not many people anywhere had seen the kid pitch in the last two years, since his work was limited after trying to escape his home country the first time a few years ago.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is the international man of mystery in Camp Clearwater.
The 27-year-old Cuban import threw a bullpen session on Thursday, the first day of official workouts for the Phillies at the Carpenter Complex. Gonzalez, who signed a four-year, $12 million deal with the team late last summer, said he threw off the mound for the first time this year on Jan.6 and has thrown 7-8 times total.
Here's more from the guy no one knows for sure what to expect out of in 2014:
Q: How do you feel health-wise?
MAG: (I'm) 100 percent healthy
Q: You haven’t pitched a ton in last 2 years. Concerned about stamina?
MAG: I’m not worried. I’ll be prepared and ready to go. Stamina, being in shape, that doesn’t worry me.
Q: You are the man of mystery in camp. Excited to show everyone what you can do?
MAG: I’ve got more to prove to myself than anyone else. Once I prove it to myself, everyone else will be able to see it clearly.
Q: Do you see yourself in rotation when season begins?
MAG: Those are decisions that are out of my control. I’m going to do my best to do that, but that (decision) is out of my hands.
Q: Open to pitching out of the ‘pen?
MAG: I’m here to pitch - whether it’s as a starter or a reliever, I’m here to pitch.
Q: How do you feel 7-8 bullpens in? Throwing it pretty well?
MAG: There’s more speed, more movement. I can tell I’ve progressed since Jan. 6.
Q: When was the last time pitched out of 'pen?
MAG: In 2011 with Cuba. It was in a playoff series, had been starter all along.