Yankees Designate Chi Chi Gonzalez For Assignment

The Yankees announced Monday that they’ve reinstated right-hander Miguel Castro from the 60-day injured list and designated fellow righty Chi Chi Gonzalez for assignment in order to open space on the roster.

The Yanks were the third team of the season for the 30-year-old Gonzalez, who allowed one run through 4 2/3 innings in a spot start against the Orioles just yesterday. He’s also spent time with the Twins and Brewers in 2022, combining for 23 innings of 5.87 ERA ball with a 15-to-7 K/BB ratio.

Selected by the Rangers with the No. 23 overall pick back in 2013, Gonzalez ranked as one of Texas’ top minor league arms for a few years but never cemented himself as a regular contributor in either the rotation or the bullpen there. His 3.90 ERA through 67 innings as a rookie in 2015 looked promising on the surface, but Gonzalez walked more hitters (32) than he struck out (30) that season. He’s tossed 217 1/3 frames for five teams since that time, pitching to a collective 6.20 ERA along the way.

Struggles in the Majors notwithstanding, Gonzalez has a decent Triple-A track record and has been solid or better there in three of four seasons pitching at that level. That includes the current campaign, where he’s totaled 80 1/3 innings with a 4.03 ERA, a 20.8% strikeout rate and a 7.9% walk rate. The Yankees will place him on outright waivers or release waivers in the next couple days, and assuming he clears, Gonzalez will be able to become a free agent either upon clearing waivers or at season’s end.

Castro, 27, has been on the injured list twice this season due to a shoulder strain. In 27 innings when healthy, he’s posted a 4.00 ERA with a 24.8% strikeout rate, 10.7% walk rate and 46.6% ground-ball rate. Despite the shoulder troubles, Castro’s sinker remains just as lively as it was with the crosstown Mets in 2021, averaging a blistering 97.9 mph this season.

If he’s healthy, Castro will give the Yanks an experienced option to consider for the postseason as he looks to showcase himself in advance of his first trip to free agency this winter. Command has long been an issue for the hard-throwing righty, but he has a 3.93 ERA over his past 348 big league innings, has considerably upped his strikeout rate since 2020 (26.9%) and typically keeps nearly half the batted balls against him on the ground (career 48.9%).

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