Prior to Spring Training abruptly coming to a halt due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Los Angeles Dodgers were cruising through their Cactus League schedule.
While the arrivals of Mookie Betts and David Price dominated headlines, the club also received unexpected contributions from the likes of Zach McKinstry and Cody Thomas.
On the pitching side, Victor Gonzalez turned heads in his relatively brief time pitching in Cactus League games. He held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just one run across one inning of work in his first outing of the spring.
The left-hander followed up that performance by tossing two perfect innings against the Texas Rangers. It marked Gonzalez’s final start on the Major League side, as the Dodgers optioned him to Minor League camp during the first week of March.
Despite only being with the Dodgers for a short time, Gonzalez caught the eye of Will Smith, who wouldn’t be surprised to see him help the club out at some point later in the year, via SportsNet LA:
“Victor Gonzalez, new lefty who has been with us for a while, he looked really good the day I caught him. I think it was two innings, and he looked phenomenal. He’s got the stuff and makeup to really help us out this year, I feel like.”
Gonzalez spent the 2019 season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, going a combined 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 93 strikeouts against 32 walks in 38 games (13 starts).
“He can kind of do a lot of different things as far as starter, reliever. He’s started, we’ve put him in the ‘pen. He just wants to pitch,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Gonzalez during spring.
“He gets lefties out, gets righties out. I think the goal is probably to get him back as a starter to kind of continue to develop; I don’t know what (Minor League) level. His ability to pitch in different roles is valued. This guy has a big arm.
“I want to see the command continue to tighten up but it’s a good slider, a good change. I’d be surprised if we don’t see him this year at some point in time. I’d be disappointed.”
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