The soon-to-be Cleveland Guardians promoted left-handed pitcher Anthony Gose to the majors on Monday. The move came more than five years after Gose's most recent big-league appearance, which came on May 15, 2016. Much has changed since, be it with the world or with baseball, including Gose's position on the diamond.
Gose, now 31, originally reached the majors as a glove-first outfielder. He spent parts of five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, amassing a .240/.309/.348 slash line (82 OPS+) in 1,252 plate appearances.
The Tigers moved Gose to the mound in 2017, and he's since worked his way up and around the league. He signed with the Texas Rangers organization afterward, and he was then selected by the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 Draft. The Astros would return him to the Rangers in time for the season, however. He subsequently joined Cleveland in advance of the 2019 campaign. This season alone, Gose has made 28 appearances in Triple-A, compiling a 3.55 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 33 innings. He also was clocked into the triple digits with his fastball.
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Gose made his MLB pitching debut in the second game of Monday's doubleheader (KC 4, CLE 2 in seven innings) and lit up the radar gun. His fastball averaged 99.3 mph, topped out at 100.8 mph, and eight of his 31 heaters register at 100.0 mph or better. Gose allowed one run on one hit and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out one batter.
"That was pretty special to me. It meant a lot to get the opportunity to go out there again. It's been a while. I'm excited to be able to have the opportunity," Gose told reporters, including the Associated Press, following the game. "... I love the game. I love to play. I guess I'm too stupid to quit."
Earlier this summer, Gose pitched for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, helping the Americans win the silver medal. He threw two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out a pair in Tokyo. Gose has allowed just one run in 14 innings since returning from the games.
While Gose's strikeout rate and velocity are impressive, it is worth noting that command continues to elude him, as he walked 28 batters in those 33 innings. That's understandable given that he remains relatively new to pitching, but it does complicate his chances of becoming a big-league fixture as a reliever.
It's rare for an established position player to make the transition, find their footing, and do well enough to merit a promotion back to the majors. In that sense, it doesn't matter what happens next, Gose's story is already a success.