Gose flashes heat in pitching debut
Cleveland pitcher Anthony Gose worked behind the scenes for roughly five years for 39 pitches.
When Gose walked off the field on May 15, 2016, it would mark the beginning of a quick, downward spiral that led to a demotion to the minors and then, the next spring, the end of his career as an outfielder. At 26 years old, his path to the majors with the bat was closed.
As Gose put it Monday night, he simply wasn’t smart enough to walk away from the game.
After not making the Detroit Tigers’ 2017 Opening Day roster, he began an attempt to transition to the mound, a path that took him through three minor league systems – Detroit’s, Texas’ and then Cleveland’s. For the better part of five seasons, Gose worked this way up and down minor league levels and through three organizations, refining some raw traits that were, at least, intriguing from a coach’s standpoint. Gose, a lefty, could throw hard, but he lacked refinement.
Gose’s MLB debut as pitcher
Like a mold of clay, Gose was returned to a solid, blank square in 2017, and three organizations have attempted to build from it a second major leaguer, this one a pitcher, since.
After five years of work away from the major leagues that he had known for multiple seasons as an outfielder, Gose reached the next milestone in his baseball journey.
Monday marked his long-awaited return. Gose entered the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, tossing 12⁄
3 innings and allowing one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout. As he
made his way from Cleveland’s bullpen, he passed right by his old spot as a center fielder, instead taking the mound in what he hopes is Act 2 of his major league career. It was a long time in the making.
“I love the game. I love to play. I guess I’m too stupid to quit,” Gose said on a Zoom call Monday night. “That was pretty special for me. It meant a lot to get the opportunity to go out there again. It’s been a while. I’m very excited and happy to be able to have that opportunity.”
Gose hits 100 mph in return
As advertised, Gose did bring the heat Monday night. Of Gose’s 39 total pitches, 31 were fastballs (eight sliders). And of those 31, 21 were thrown at least 99 mph.
Eight of those 21 reached triple digits, with Gose topping out at 100.9 mph. A lefty who can hit 100 and throw multiple innings will always, at the very least, be given a chance to figure some other things out, even a pitcher who has been viewed as raw as Gose.
“He’s not afraid to compete,” said acting manager DeMarlo Hale.