After missing 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, Marco Gonzales is unlikely to be back pitching in games until a month or two into the 2017 season. He will almost certainly spend time at Triple-A Memphis once healthy due to the fact that he is yet to impress in the majors and seemed to take a step back in the minors before he went under the knife. Over 14 starts with Memphis in 2015 (when he most recently pitched), Gonzales really struggled to retire the opposition, as batters hit .317 with him on the mound. He was much better at Triple-A in 2014, and it is possible his elbow was already an issue during his struggles in 2015. His stuff profiles better at the back of a big league rotation than in the bullpen, so he should continue to be developed as a starter, but given the Cardinals' rotation depth it is unclear when he will get a legitimate look in that role as long as he remains in this organization.
Gonzales was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Monday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. This was expected, as Gonzales is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn't made an appearance in a game all spring. The 25-year-old will start the year in the minors, and after a rehab assignment, he should be an option for the Cardinals sometime around July.
Gonzales threw an intense 30-pitch bullpen session Thursday, the latest step in his comeback from April 2016 Tommy John surgery, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The 2013 first-round pick threw all fastballs in the session, splitting his workload over two 15-minute rounds. His velocity represented an increase from that of his previous session, and Gonzales will take things up another notch his next time out after a couple of days of rest. The 25-year-old southpaw owns a career 4-2 record, 4.82 ERA and 1.61 WHIP over 37.1 major league frames and is aiming for a May return to the mound.
Gonzales (elbow) threw from a mound Friday, the first time since his Tommy John surgery last April, Rick Hummel of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More good news from the recovery standpoint for Gonzales, who said he felt fatigued, but that his arm "feels really good." The left-hander expects to make his first bullpen session next week and hopes to be pitching in the system by May. Gonzales last pitched in 2015 and will likely begin the season in the minors.
Gonzales (elbow) said he's stretched his throwing distance out to 90 feet, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports. Gonzales underwent Tommy John surgery last April and was sidelined for the entire 2016 season, but is hopeful that he'll be back on the mound for the start of spring training. The Cardinals will likely be extremely cautious with the 24-year-old coming off a major procedure, but if his recovery process goes as anticipated, Gonzales could be facing hitters by the end of camp. Given the year-long layoff, Gonzales figures to open the season in the minor-league ranks before potentially vying for a rotation spot with the big club later in the campaign.
Gonzales (elbow) will require Tommy John surgery and he is out for the season, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Gonzales had some soreness crop up in his pitching elbow late in spring training, and it was announced last week that he'd need to miss the beginning of the minor league season. After getting a second opinion on his elbow from team doctors, it was decided that Gonzales would need Tommy John surgery. He will miss the remainder of the 2016 season and is unlikely to be back on a mound until the second half of the 2017 campaign.
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