Olympic silver medalist and former outfielder Anthony Gose is being called up by the Cleveland Guardians. He won’t be roaming Progressive Field’s outfield any time soon, though — the 31-year-old will likely make his debut as a reliever.
Gose’s last MLB action came in 2016 as a member of the Tigers’ lineup. His already limited offensive contributions as a hitter were dwindling and he finished the year with a .209/.287/.341 slash and two home runs in 30 games. His career was just five years in but it already looked like it was winding down.
Gose began a new chapter as a pitcher in Detroit’s minor-league system in 2017 before finding his way over to Cleveland in 2019 after a few cuts, a failed Rule 5 selection, and a tiff with his minor-league manager. It’s been a steady ascension since then for the lefty, going from High-A to Double-A in 2019 and playing all of 2021 in Triple-A.
To this point, the highlight of his pitching career has been pitching 5.1 innings for Team USA in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Gose, who has been noted as hitting 100 mph with his four-seamer, has been electric since returning stateside to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers on Aug. 15.
In 14 reliever innings since, he has 22 strikeouts to just six walks and a lone earned run off a solo homer. The walk issues that prevented him from earning an earlier promotion will likely still exist against major-league hitters, but that this point — why the hell not? Chris Davies expanded on the idea that the Guardians should just give him a shot back in August, and it rings truer than ever now that the season’s end is mere weeks away and Cleveland could be eliminated from the playoffs as early as this week.
Finding a spot for Gose to pitch shouldn’t be that difficult. High-leverage, low-leverage, closer, whatever. Hell, let him start and play right field if you and, it literally does not matter right now. Outside of watching Andres Gimenez get into a groove and José Ramírez approach 40 home runs, not much else matters about this season right now. If you’re a Cleveland fan, seeing how Gose fares after all he has been through should be appointment viewing in the final weeks of the season.
Gose will be a free agent in a month regardless of what Cleveland does, but at least they can see what he has over the last couple of weeks over some of the relievers that have struggled lately. Technically, Cleveland could call Gose up and never use him before sending him back down the majors but that kind of action should be considered a crime. I’m talking jail time, here. Lots of it.
Assuming they don’t go that route, Gose will make his MLB pitching debut with Cleveland. Maybe they’ll see something in him that makes them want to lock him up for a couple of years to stick around. Or maybe it will just be a showcase for him to go out and find a new home as a reliever into his 30’s. Both options are worthy of a call-up.