Is Miguel Gonzalez The Orioles Most Pleasant Surprise This Season?

Who would’ve thought that 28-year-old journeyman Miguel Gonzalez would be the Baltimore Orioles second best starter in August? Certainly not me.

I’m not sure if Gonzalez’s mechanics have been fine tuned by pitching guru Rick Peterson or if Dan Duquette just found a hidden gem, but the Orioles have seen quite a bit of production from him in July and August.

Miguel Gonzalez was called upon by the Birds to serve as a long-inning reliever in May, but was sent back down on June 9 when the Orioles recalled Tommy Hunter.  He later replaced hunter in the rotation on July 1 and six starts later has earned his spot among the O’s starting five.

I detailed Miguel Gonzalez’s journey in my weekly column on

He has certainly been put to the test over the last month. The righty has defeated the Angels in Anaheim, the Indians in Cleveland, the Yankees in New York and most recently the Rays in Tampa Bay.

Gonzalez’s only poor start came on July 25 against the Tampa Bay Rays when he took the mound with flu-like symptoms and left after just 2 2/3 innings. If you overlook that outing, Gonzalez has recorded a 2.72 ERA and a 2.76 K/BB ratio. But if you can’t erase that outing his numbers are still pretty solid, 3-2, 4.05 ERA, .238 opponents average and 1.83 K/BB ratio.

So the question is: can the Orioles stay in playoff contention with a starting five of Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel (when he returns), Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton/Jake Arrieta/Tommy Hunter? And which of those three takes that final rotation spot?

Myself, Patrick Guthrie and Matt Lund talked about that on this week’s BSR Podcast. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear that.