By Sarah Berkowitz
At last, the Phillies are about to give their long-suffering fans a new name to cheer about.
Severino Gonzalez will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make his major league debut Tuesday night in a start against the Cardinals.
The 22-year-old Panamanian right-hander, who’s ranked No. 15 among Phillies prospects according to MLB.com, compiled a 1-1 record with a 3.57 ERA in three starts with Lehigh Valley. He started 27 games at Double-A Reading in 2014, going 9-13 with a 4.59 ERA. He struck out 115 and walked just 34 in 158 2/3 innings.
“He’s obviously starting, so he’ll give us a lift as far as having a starting pitcher and keep our bullpen intact,” Sandberg said.
The starting spot opened up when the Phillies had to place Sean O’Sullivanon the disabled list with left knee tendinitis on Wednesday. Sandberg used reliever Dustin McGowan to start vs. the Marlins the following day, but McGowan didn’t make it out of the fourth inning.
Gonzalez throws a fastball, cutter, changeup and slider. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he relies on hitting the corners to control hitters. A lanky type at 6-foot-1, 153 pounds, he will have to hit his spots to be effective in his debut at Busch Stadium against a potent Cardinals lineup.
Signed for a reported $14,000, he pitched in the Venezuelan League in 2011 and ’12 and split ’13 among at low Class A Lakewood, Class A Clearwater and Reading, going 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA in 25 appearances (14 starts).