The Phillies added some pitching depth Tuesday morning when they signed veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin to a minor-league contract. He will compete for a spot on the big-league roster in spring training.
“He has a very good chance to make the team,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “A lot depends on how he pitches. But he’s got a very good chance.”
Gaudin can start or relieve.
“He’s likely to be in the bullpen, but he does give us some starting pitching depth, so we’ll try to stretch him out in spring training,” Amaro said.
Gaudin, who turns 31 on March 24, went to camp on a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants last season and ended up being a valuable member of that club. He pitched in 30 games, 12 of them starts, and went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA.
In his 12 starts for the Giants, Gaudin was 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA. He allowed 57 hits while striking out 60 and walking 24 in 66 1/3 innings as a starter. He did not pitch after August 16 after being placed on the disabled list with carpal tunnel syndrome.
“We had him checked out,” Amaro said. “It was a little more complicated than that. He had a nerve issue (in the hand and wrist) that we took a look at. We had some concern but still felt it was worth signing him to a minor-league deal.”
Gaudin broke into the majors with Tampa Bay in 2003. He is 45-44 with a 4.44 ERA in 344 major-league games, including 87 starts. The Phillies are his 10th team.
Gaudin’s ability to start and work multiple innings in relief was attractive to the Phillies The club is in particular need of starting pitching depth. Heading into the camp, the Phillies’ starting rotation features Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez. Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez probably has the inside track on the remaining starting spot, but he remains a bit of a mystery as he has only pitched a handful of competitive innings the last two seasons. Jonathan Pettibone will also be in the competition for a starting spot.
Guadin last summer made headlines when he was arrested and charged with open and gross lewdness, a gross misdemeanor, after groping a woman on a gurney in a Las Vegas hospital.
The incident occurred last Jan. 27 at 4:30 a.m. but was not publicized until July. According to a statement from his attorney, Gaudin was in the hospital because of symptoms believed to be related to a kidney problem. He also, according to police, was drunk at the time.