Marlins, Chi Chi González Agree to Minor League Deal

Marlins Chi Chi González
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins and right-handed starter Chi Chi González have come to terms on a minor league deal, per a report by Jon Heyman of MLB Network and the New York Post. González spent time in four different MLB organizations during the 2022 season, including the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees. The Twins decided to DFA González after making two starts, pitching to a disastrous 7.71 ERA and 1.714 WHIP in seven innings. This is partially due to a sky-high H/9 of 15.4 and 2.6 HR/9. But the average exit velocity on batted balls against him was only 85.3 mph. González also did not walk a batter while on the Twins. The Brewers took a chance on a waiver claim for González because they were in need of pitching at the time.

For the Brewers, González pitched to a slightly better 6.35 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in 11 1/3 innings. His K/9 improved from 5.1 with the Twins to 6.4 with the Brewers. González made two starts for the Brewers, pitching four innings apiece and giving up three earned runs on four hits in each outing. He struck out three while walking two in one start and struck out two while walking one in the other. González also made two relief appearances for the Brewers in 2022. In one of the relief appearances, González entered the game during the seventh inning of a losing effort but only gave up two hits while striking out two in three innings. In the other, González came in during a tie game with two outs in the ninth and gave up a three-run home run to Daniel Vogelbach. The Brewers lost the game.

Yankees Come Calling After Brewers DFA González

The Brewers decided to designate González for assignment (DFA), and, after spending time with the Detroit Tigers and Yankees Triple-A affiliates, he re-emerged in the big leagues with the Yankees for one start. It was the final home game of the season for the Yankees, and Yankees fans wanted to see Aaron Judge hit home run number 62 for the season. They also wanted to see their beloved Yankees win the game. There was a lot of excitement in the air. In 4 2/3 innings, González allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out three. Judge went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts during that game but eventually hit number 62 on the final game of the season, during the second game of a doubleheader at the Texas Rangers.

In the one-game sample with the Yankees, González amassed a 1.93 ERA and 1.500 WHIP with 5.8 K/9, 7.7 H/9, and 5.8 BB/9. Chi Chi González pitched to a combined 5.87 ERA with a 1.522 WHIP, 2.0 HR/9, and 5.9 K/9 in 23 innings in 2022.

Chi Chi González 2022 Standard Pitching Statistics

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2022 30 TOT MLB 0 1 5.87 7 5 2 0 0 0 23.0 28 15 15 5 7 0 15 99 70 5.55 1.522 11.0 2.0 2.7 5.9 2.14
2022 30 TOT AL 0 0 5.40 3 3 0 0 0 0 11.2 16 7 7 2 3 0 7 51 76 4.91 1.629 12.3 1.5 2.3 5.4 2.33
2022 30 MIN AL 0 0 7.71 2 2 0 0 0 0 7.0 12 6 6 2 0 0 4 31 53 5.68 1.714 15.4 2.6 0.0 5.1
2022 30 MIL NL 0 1 6.35 4 2 2 0 0 0 11.1 12 8 8 3 4 0 8 48 64 6.20 1.412 9.5 2.4 3.2 6.4 2.00
2022 30 NYY AL 0 0 1.93 1 1 0 0 0 0 4.2 4 1 1 0 3 0 3 20 218 3.75 1.500 7.7 0.0 5.8 5.8 1.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2022.

Chi Chi González 2022 Advanced Pitching Statistics

Advanced Pitching
Batting Against Pitching Ratios Batted Ball Win Probability
Year Age Tm Lg IP BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip HR% SO% BB% EV HardH% LD% GB% FB% GB/FB WPA cWPA RE24
2022 30 TOT MLB 23.0 .304 .354 .543 .897 .319 5.1% 15.2% 7.1% 88.7 40.3% 22.1% 40.3% 32.5% 0.67 -0.7 -0.6% -5.5
2022 30 TOT AL 11.2 .333 .373 .542 .914 .359 3.9% 13.7% 5.9% 87.8 43.9% 24.4% 46.3% 22.0% 0.86 -0.3 -0.3% -2.2
2022 30 MIN AL 7.0 .387 .387 .613 1.000 .400 6.5% 12.9% 0.0% 85.3 44.4% 25.9% 51.9% 22.2% 1.08 -0.4 -0.3% -3.1
2022 30 MIL NL 11.1 .273 .333 .545 .879 .273 6.3% 16.7% 8.3% 89.7 36.1% 19.4% 33.3% 44.4% 0.50 -0.4 -0.3% -3.3
2022 30 NYY AL 4.2 .235 .350 .412 .762 .286 0.0% 15.0% 15.0% 92.5 42.9% 21.4% 35.7% 21.4% 0.56 0.1 0.0% 0.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2022.

Why the Marlins Signed Chi Chi González

In González’s six-year career he has amassed a 5.66 ERA and 1.493 WHIP with 5.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, and 1.4 HR/9 across 284 2/3 innings. But a Marlins fan may wonder why the Marlins would need Chi Chi González. With 2013 being González’s age-31 season, the Marlins are likely hoping that he will be available to be called up to the majors in the event of injury or fatigue. Additionally, González has come out of the bullpen 16 times in his career. It is possible that the Marlins use him as long relief at some point during the season. But basically, this move gives the Marlins pitching depth.

Let’s face it: the Marlins have a good, young rotation. They do not need to go out and spend a ton of money to improve their staff. They need to continue to develop their talented starting pitching core. Sandy Alcantara won the 2022 NL Cy Young Award. Just turning 27 on September 7, Alcantara is the eldest individual on the Marlins starting rotation of Alcantara, Pablo López, Trevor Rogers, Jesús Luzardo, and Edward Cabrera or Braxton Garrett.

The Marlins already have their ace in Alcantara. They need to continue to give their young talent repetitions at the MLB level as they did with Alcantara. Chi Chi González is a player who will help the Marlins fill in the gaps when the starting rotation needs a day off or is injured. In other words, Chi Chi González is going to help the talented young Marlins pitchers continue to develop and the Marlins hope that they continue to develop as Alcantara has previously.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Chi Chi González, Daniel Vogelbach, Aaron Judge, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo López, Trevor Rogers, Jesús Luzardo, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett

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Chris Gray

Chris Gray

Chris is a writer, philosopher, and web developer. He is currently the Web Developer as well as an Editor and Contributor for SportRelay.

When Chris was young, he played Little League Baseball for years. In addition, he used to look at the statistics on baseball cards to compare the different players and trade the cards with his friends. As a teenager, he worked as a Computer Technician until he landed a position as a Network Administrator at a middle school in Los Angeles, California.

Feeling unfulfilled with a lack of education to combine with his work and life experience, he returned to school, obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from UCLA, and now spends his time writing, investing, thinking, programming, and enjoying baseball.

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