ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Mike Gonzalez #51 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the eighth inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
There times last fall when Mike Gonzalez was inserted into the game in some pretty tight spots during the Texas Rangers' playoff run.
In the ALDS against Tampa Bay, the situational lefty got a huge strikeout of Johnny Damon with two runners on and two outs in the eighth inning of Game 3 to help preserve a one-run Rangers lead in a game the Rangers went on to win and take a 2-1 series lead.
He also was put into the game in Game 1 of the ALCS, which was wrecked by rain delays and got a late out in that game to help preserve the Rangers lead en route to a win.
Now, the Rangers seem to be parting ways with the hard-throwing lefty, who was acquired after the trade deadline in a waiver pickup last season. They offered him a minor-league deal over the weekend, which he rightfully declined.
It was a bit of a curious move by the Rangers, who must have plenty of confidence in their internal lefty relief options, most notably Michael Kirkman.
Again, this is an instance where Rangers fans will just have to trust the front office, which has had a lot of hits and not many misses recently because Gonzalez would seem to be a good piece of the roster, but apparently they think otherwise.