Chi Chi Gonzalez, the former Texas Ranger first round pick who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery, had a very successful outing for the Spokane Indians last night. In his third rehab appearance of the year, and the first outside of the AZL, Gonzalez threw five perfect innings, retiring all 15 batters he faced.
Yes, this is a former major leaguer pitching to guys in short-season ball, but it’s still an encouraging sign for Gonzalez, who should be back to full strength for 2019. Gonzalez could have one more rehab appearance this year for Spokane, as they have made the Northwest League playoffs, and regular rotation members Seth Nordlin and Ryan Dease have been shut down for the year.
Gonzalez is on a one year minor league deal, but it sounds like the Rangers intend to bring him back for 2019 on a minor league deal. He could then compete for a spot in what for now appears to be a barren Ranger rotation, and provide depth in AAA if he doesn’t make the major league team,
Incidentally, Emmanuel Clase picked up the save last night for Spokane with a scoreless inning of work. Clase, acquired as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Brett Nicholas to San Diego, now has a 0.64 ERA in 28.1 IP over 22 appearances, striking out 27 and walking 6. The 20 year throws in the upper-90s, and has been a revelation this year.