News of Ryan Madson’ spending Tommy John surgery will likely bump Sean Marshall from Cincinnati Reds setup man to closer. With Marshall’s previous role of lefty setup man listed as soon-to-be vacant, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reported that the Reds auditioned free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez Monday.
Gonzalez might not be viewed as a top shelf reliever after struggling over the past two seasons in Baltimore. Though Gonzalez failed as a closer for the Orioles, the veteran was solid versus left-handed hitters. Last season, Gonzalez held lefties to an OPS of .574 compared to the .900 mark right-handers posted against him.
For this reason, and based on his successful track record versus lefties, many believe Gonzalez is still a viable option for a left-handed specialist role or even lefty setup man.
With Marshall’s expected role change, Aroldis Chapman being considered for Cincinnati’s rotation, and reliever Bill Bray’s groin injury, Sheldon said that the Reds could be “short for lefty relievers”. Beyond Gonzalez, Sheldon lists recently released veterans Joe Beimel, Trever Miller and Mitch Stetter as other left-handed options for the Reds.
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