When St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect Marco Gonzales had a strong outing on Tuesday, striking out seven and allowing one run over six innings for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, some expressed relief that the left-hander’s physical problems were apparently behind him.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. The 23-year-old has been scratched from his Memorial Day start for the Redbirds after a recurrence of tightness around his left pectoral muscle, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Gonzales first noted the problem on the morning of April 22 while the team was in Omaha, specifics reported first by The Cardinal Nation. TCN’s no. 1 St. Louis prospect, who was sensational in spring training but lost out on St. Louis’ fifth rotation spot to Carlos Martinez, came off the disabled list on May 9th. His first two starts back were below expectations prior to Tuesday’s impressive appearance.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Langosch that Gonzales will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff in St. Louis early this coming week. More information will be made available at that time. At this point, Gonzales has not yet been returned to Memphis’ seven-day disabled list. One likely replacement in the Redbirds rotation, Boone Whiting, was released by the organization just this week.
The Cardinals are hopeful Gonzales can again help the Major League club this season, as he did out of the bullpen in 2014. In New York this past week, I asked manager Mike Matheny about the pitcher. “Before the season is over, I believe he could be successful in multiple capacities,” the manager replied, leaving the door open for Gonzales to assume a starting or relief role perhaps, depending on the team’s needs at the time.
Now the Cardinals will have to hold their collective breath and see what the medical news brings first.
On Sunday, the organization placed Gonzales on the seven-day disabled list of Triple-A Memphis. Swingman Nick Greenwood is making his Sunday start.
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