It has been a tough road for the 23-year-old lefty Luiz Gohara, who once upon a time was one of the Braves’ highly regarded pitching prospects and a player many projected to achieve incredible things at the major league level. But over the years, he has dealt with unimaginable obstacles.
After several attempts at a return, the Braves cut ties with Gohara last August, but he was quickly picked up later that month, receiving a minor league contract from the Angels but no guarantee that he would ever taste the majors again. He never pitched an inning in 2019.
Despite the incredible hardships and various ailments, Gohara has labored through and finally caught a break. Recently the Angels extended him a Spring Training invite, granting him another opportunity to become a big-league pitcher.
Former Brave Luiz Gohara gets a non-roster spring training invite with the Angels. https://t.co/h4v5AsTmV3
— Matt Chrietzberg (@BravesMattC) February 1, 2020
This doesn’t mean the work is over. Expectations should remain realistic, for Gohara hasn’t pitched in a professional game since August 22, 2018 — a 5.2-inning start with the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers in which he struck out five and picked up the win. There’s most likely a lot of rust to work through, not to mention a left shoulder that gave him problems in 2019 and prevented him from taking the mound all season. But none of that matters now. Gohara appears healthy and has been given another chance to fulfill his dream, and sometimes that’s all a player needs.
The Angels are an organization in a different situation than the Braves. You could say LA is a little less fortunate on the pitching side, as injuries and poor performance has made it tough to compete in the NL West. Though, the Halos’ struggles on the mound present Gohara, as long as he stays healthy, with at least a legitimate opportunity at receiving a long look.
It would’ve been nice to see this possible reclamation project happen within the Braves’ system, but for those of us that have been following Gohara over the years, the team that he winds up flourishing with couldn’t matter less. Hopefully, he’s able to contribute for the Halos this Spring and, at the very least, give them and other teams a look at his talent.