Gonzalez thinks Brewers can win
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 8, 2013
Michael Gonzalez faced the Brewers only three times last season but they made an impression on him.
"They had a good-looking ball club and it seemed like a great group of guys," said the veteran left-handed reliever. "I'm excited about playing with them. I'm confident we'll have a chance to get it done. That was a big reason I signed with the Brewers."
Gonzalez will get the chance to see what the Brewers can do after signing a free-agent deal for $2.25 million for 2013. Gonzalez pitched last year for Washington, as did previous Brewers free-agent signee Tom Gorzelanny, another lefty reliever.
"That's great to be back with 'Gorzo,'" said Gonzalez, who had a 3.03 ERA in 47 appearances with the Nationals last year, holding left-handed hitters to a .179 batting average. "He's a good dude and when he's out there on the mound, he's going to do what it takes to win. And he's a great clubhouse guy."
When Gonzalez was talking with Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, he learned that Melvin tried to sign him as a free agent three years earlier. Instead, Gonzalez signed a two-year deal with Baltimore.
"I can tell you one thing. He was aggressive with me this time," said Gonzalez. "That's a great feeling when somebody really wants you."
Gonzalez, who was a closer earlier in his career, was set back in recent years by shoulder and knee injuries but overcame them and made an impact with Washington, in a good bullpen. He said he's completely healthy now and at age 34 still excited about getting the ball in late innings when games are on the line.
"There's no greater rush than being out there in those situations," he said. "I love being out there. And I always seem to do well in those situations.
"When I'm healthy, I've always pitched well. I've gained experience over the years and learned how to pitch. When I was younger, I was more of a thrower out there. I feel like I've evolved since then."