7/2/2014 8:16 P.M. ET
Cuban righty Gonzalez joins Double-A off DL
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
MIAMI -- The Phillies signed Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a three-year, $12 million contract last year because they believed he would pitch in their rotation this season.
But Gonzalez, who had health concerns before the Phillies signed him, has been plagued with shoulder issues. He has been healthy recently, however, and the Phillies on Wednesday activated him from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A Reading, where he will pitch out of the bullpen.
"We started stretching him out and when he got past 40 pitches, he wasn't able to handle it physically and stay in his mechanics," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We decided to go ahead and make him a reliever for now. Once he gets his feet on the ground, we'll try to stretch him out for next year."
So he could be a starter in the future?
"He could, yeah," Amaro said.
Asked if Gonzalez's latest MRI on his right shoulder looked clean, Amaro said, "It's kind of like normal changes, like a lot of guys, but he's physically fine now."
Gonzalez has been throwing well during a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Clearwater. He touched 97 mph recently when he got upset at an opposing player.
"He got a little rammy [rambunctious]," Amaro said. "We'll see how rammy he can get. We're just trying to get him reps right now and get him going and competing. We'll see where it takes us. We'll evaluate him like everybody else in our system. Hopefully he can handle Double-A, and we'll go from there."
Could he be in the big leagues this year?
"Can I see it? If he throws 96 or 97 or 94 or 95 or whatever and gets people out consistently, yeah," Amaro said. "Why not? A lot of it depends on his performance."
Among flurry of moves, Brown on paternity list
MIAMI -- The Phillies announced a few roster transactions Wednesday:
• Outfielder Domonic Brown has been placed on the paternity leave list. Double-A Reading outfielder Aaron Altherr has been recalled to take his place on the 25-man roster. Brown, who will be back this weekend in Pittsburgh, was hitting .318 in 22 at-bats over his past seven games. Triple-A outfielder Grady Sizemore wasn't a consideration at this time because he needs more at-bats before he is potentially called up.
• Right-hander Mike Adams has been placed on the 60-day DL with a shoulder injury, which ends any chance he could be traded before the July 31 Trade Deadline. He has not pitched since June 6 but had been hoping to begin a throwing program last weekend. But Adams still has not been cleared to throw. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
"We think he's going to be back [this season], but we'll see," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
• Catcher Wil Nieves, who is on the DL with a right quadriceps strain, began a rehab assignment Wednesday with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He will catch half a game Thursday and possibly an entire game Friday. He is eligible to be activated as early as Friday.
Lee to begin Class A rehab assignment Sunday
MIAMI -- Cliff Lee is ready to get on a mound again.
The Phillies said Wednesday that Lee, who has been on the DL since May with a strained left elbow, will throw 65-75 pitches in a rehab start Sunday with Class A Advanced Clearwater. He threw three innings in a simulated game Tuesday at Marlins Park.
"Cliff came out of it fine," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Lee might need just one rehab assignment, although Lee speculated Tuesday he would need two. If he needs one, he could rejoin the rotation before the All-Star break. If he needs two, it would be shortly after the break.
"That'll be a judgment," Sandberg said. "We'll see how he looks and feels after that. We'll see if he needs one more or not."
Touted shortstop among international signings
MIAMI -- The Phillies signed three players Wednesday on the first day of the international signing period.
They signed Venezuelan shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, one of the top infielders on the international market, for $900,000. Gamboa ranked No. 15 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list. They also signed Venezuelan shortstop Daniel Brito for $650,000 and Panamanian left-hander Jhon Nunez for close to $100,000.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said they planned to use most or all of their $3.2 million allotted for international players.
"Three signed and working on others," Amaro said. "We'll find out more in the next 24 hours."
Gamboa -- a 5-foot-11, 158-pound switch-hitter -- is an athletic shortstop with a solid skill set. He is expected to hit for power in the future, and there is a belief that he is a better hitter from the right side of the plate.
Known for his quick feet and good balance on defense, Gamboa is versatile enough to play multiple infield positions. Scouts like his bat control, but there is room for improvement on offense. He is from Cumana, Venezuela, and is trained by Denis Leonett.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period. Philadelphia's bonus pool total for this year's signing period is $3,221,800.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.