By Todd Zolecki, MLB.com
Severino Gonzalez has a pretty nice opportunity ahead of him.
He allowed one run in five innings in Wednesday night’s 4-2 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. Gonzalez rejoined the Phillies’ rotation following an injury to right-hander Chad Billingsley, which will keep him on the 15-day disabled list four to six weeks.
The Phillies have few options behind Gonzalez, so he could get a few more starts. Triple-A right-hander David Buchanan suffered a severely sprained right ankle, which will sideline him six to eight weeks. Triple-A right-hander Phillippe Aumont is pitching well in the IronPigs’ rotation, but he is not on the 40-man roster. Double-A Reading right-hander Aaron Nola pitched another gem Wednesday, going seven scoreless innings, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that Nola is nowhere close to being promoted to the big leagues.
Amaro said he could see Nola in the big leagues before the end of the season. Just not right now.
That leaves Gonzalez.
“My first outing wasn’t that good,” Gonzalez said through translator Juan Samuel, referring to an April 28 start in St. Louis in which he allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. “I was nervous. I kind of feel more settled down now with a few more starts. I feel like the jitters are gone so I’m looking forward to it.”
Gonzalez retired the first nine batters he faced Wednesday, which included a fantastic play from Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis in the third inning. He backhanded a ball hit into the hole by DJ LeMahieu. Galvis jumped and threw to first base for the out.
“It was unreal,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Galvis also bailed out Gonzalez in the fourth inning when he allowed his only run. Wilin Rosario tried to stretch a single into a double play, but Galvis got the throw from left fielder Ben Revere and fired to second base to get him.
Odubel Herrera then crushed the Rockies’ hopes of another rally in the fifth when he leapt in the air to steal a hit from Nick Hundley. Ben Paulsen was running on the play, so Herrera threw to first for the double play.
“That was a little strange,” Sandberg said with a laugh. “We were joking he almost overran it and then he almost overthrew the first baseman.”
Sandberg pulled Gonzalez after five innings and just 65 pitches.”They started to get some wood on the ball and then it was the start of the third time through the lineup, a third look at it,” he said.
Gonzalez’s next start comes Monday in New York.