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Rockies sign lefty reliever Brian Gonzalez

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He has a fastball, changeup, and curveball

Agent Gavin Kahn announced today that his client Brian Gonzalez has signed a minor-league contract with the Rockies. The contract includes an invitation to spring training.

Gonzalez was drafted in 2014 out of Archbishop McCarthy (FL) High School, near Miami. He was the 90th draft pick overall and the Orioles’ top pick. (Fun fact: That year, the Orioles signed Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jiménez, so they lost their highest draft picks, making Gonzalez their top selection.)

The 25-year-old lefty has never pitched above Double-A Bowie, though in early August, he was invited to the Orioles’ alternate site when the team found themselves short on lefty relievers.

In 2019, the six-foot-three, 230-pounder was moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen where he went 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA. Over 41 23 innings, he allowed 33 hits, walked 11, and struck out 35. He recorded a WHIP of 1.06.

“Biggest thing I would say is just routine-wise, just a different day to day,” Gonzalez said of the move to the ‘pen. “As a starter, you have four days to prepare, and in the bullpen you have to be ready every day. I enjoyed that. I liked being able to be in the game every day, be some part of the game.”

He added, “And I was mostly used in long relief, so I was still getting length out of the bullpen.”

Here’s some video of Gonzalez in action:

Per FanGraphs, he is a Rule 5-eligible free agent.

Gonzalez has a lower-to-mid-90s fastball and a changeup. According to Baseball America, he is “unafraid to use it in any count.” His third pitch is a curveball.

In signing Gonzalez, the Rockies are trying to find additional lefty relievers for a system largely devoid of them. He joins pitcher Dereck Rodríguez as a recent Rockies MiLB signing.

Purple Row will be updating this developing story.