Jose Contreras believes Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is ready for big leagues
|07.26.13 at 8:55 pm ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Jose Contreras has no doubt Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez can follow in his footsteps.
The Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher, who spent six games in the minor leagues prior to making his major-league debut with the Yankees in 2003, has already blazed the trail Gonzalez is hoping to venture down.
Both hurlers hail from Cuba and share the same agent, with the 26-year-old Gonzalez positioning himself to enter the majors in much the same manner as Contreras did when the Red Sox and Yankees were immersed in a bidding war for the big righty — as a free agent, costing nothing to an acquiring team but money.
(The Red Sox were one of the teams interested in Gonzalez, as team president Larry Lucchino confirmed on Dennis and Callahan this week. Friday night reports surfaced that the pitcher would be signing with the Phillies.)
“He has everything. He has the mentality for the big leagues,” said Contreras (via a translator) of Gonzalez, who has been playing in Tijuana, Mexico. “If he has been throwing, he should be able to help any team.
“He should be ready because has been playing the last five years in Cuba, and that’s like the minor leagues. I don’t know what level that compares to, but he’s ready.”
While Contreras hasn’t seen Gonzalez recently, he has been tracking the pitcher’s progress through the pair’s agent, Jaime Torres, while having already monitored his Cuban career.
“I’ve been talking to my agent and my agent has told me how he’s doing,” Contreras said. “I’ve also been watching him play Cuban baseball the last five years. He’s going to be a big-leaguer soon. If his body stayed the same as it was four years ago, he should be ready for the big leagues.”
As for Contreras, he has impressed in his brief stint with the PawSox. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, the 41-year-old had turned in brief stint (7 games) with the Pirates earlier this season before being released by Pittsburgh. Since being signed to a minor-league deal by the Red Sox, Contreras hasn’t allowed a hit in 3 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking three.
“I love the game,” he said. “Besides my family, the next thing in my life is baseball. ast year when I had the elbow surgery I was thinking about retiring but I knew I could keep going. Now I feel the same as before.”
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