Notes on Gonzalez, Cruz and Joseph

KANSAS CITY - Miguel Gonzalez will start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series unless he’s needed in relief tonight.

Gonzalez hasn’t started since Sept. 28 in Toronto in the final regular season game. The layoff, however, isn’t the reason for his assignment on Wednesday.

“That whole thing about time off, this time of the year... In fact, Gonzo has handled it pretty well when we’ve given him extra time,” said manager Buck Showalter.

miguel-gonzalez-orange.jpgNelson Cruz will start in left field in Game 4 against Royals left-hander Jason Vargas. Delmon Young will serve as the designated hitter and Alejando De Aza will move to the bench.

The only hesitation for Showalter is because he doesn’t like losing Cruz’s bat when making a late defensive substitution.

“I think he’ll look forward to getting out there tomorrow,” Showalter said.

Showalter said it was “51-49” in favor of starting Nick Hundley behind the plate tonight rather than Caleb Joseph, who collected two hits and a sacrifice fly in Game 2.

Joseph will start Game 4 on Wednesday. Showalter likes the idea of having Joseph face Vargas.

Hundley is a career .200 hitter against left-handers.

“We feel good with both of them,” Showalter said.

As I wrote yesterday, Wei-Yin Chen’s start tonight is the first ever by a Taiwanese-born pitcher in LCS history. Chen’s third career postseason appearance will tie Chien-Ming Wang for most by a Taiwanese-born pitcher in baseball history.

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