Butch Dill / USATODAY Sports

Right-hander Severino Gonzalez was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley by the Phillies

Not surprisingly, Severino Gonzalez won't be opening the season with the Phillies. Instead, he's now slated to pitch for Lehigh Valley, but where he'll fit in isn't quite clear.

Severino Gonzalez has had some good moments in the minors, but hasn't been able to translate those starts into success at the major league level. The 23-year old made seven starts with the Phillies last season, pitching to a 7.92 ERA. In his pro career, Gonzalez has a minor league ERA of 3.36, but over the past two seasons, has struggled in his time at Reading and Lehigh Valley, with an ERA of 4.79. 

The Phillies optioned the 23-year old to Lehigh Valley today.

Gonzalez split his time in the minors between starting and relieving early in his career, but has pitched exclusively as a starter the past two seasons. With a number of quality starting prospects slated for Lehigh Valley this season, Gonzalez may be forced back to a relief role with the IronPigs.

David BuchananAlec AsherMark AppelZach Eflin and Jake Thompson are already slated for Lehigh Valley's rotation. It's likely that either Vincent Vasquez or Adam Morgan will also wind up at Triple-A as starters to open the season. The logjam makes it likely that Gonzalez will either wind up in the IronPigs bullpen or get bumped back to Double-A Reading. With 15 relievers still in big league camp fighting for seven spots, the Lehigh Valley bullpen could also be pretty full, further hurting Gonzalez' chances of opening the year with the IronPigs.

The Phillies still have 48 players in camp, with opening day less than two weeks away.

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