The Texas Rangers signed Team Italy pitcher Sam Gaviglio to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona on February 1, 2021. When pitchers and catchers report to camp later this month, the 30-year-old right-handed pitcher will reunite with Team Italy catcher/designated hitter Drew Butera, who recently signed a minor-league deal with Texas. Both players were in the Azzurri lineup on March 11, 2017 when Team Italy played Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sam Gaviglio pitched four scoreless innings against an explosive Venezuela offense powered by Jose Altuve, Martin Prado, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, and Salvador Perez before surrendering two runs in top of the fifth inning. Despite an impressive start, he did not receive a decision in the Team Italy 11-10 extra-inning loss to Venezuela.
Sam Gaviglio made his MLB pitching debut with the Seattle Mariners shortly after the WBC on May 11, 2017. He was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals on September 1, 2017 and traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on March 21, 2018. Used primarily as a starting pitcher early in his career, Sam Gaviglio worked exclusively out of the Toronto bullpen n 2019 when he was the MLB leader in innings pitched (95.2). He made four relief appearances for the Blue Jays in 2020. In his big league career, Sam Gaviglio has made 98 appearances (including 37 starts) for a total of 296.2 innings of work. With a record of 11-18 and a 4.88 ERA, the sinking-fastball specialist is know for throwing strikes and inducing groundball outs. After a strong pitching campaign at 2021 Rangers Spring Training, Sam Gaviglio is poised to earn a Texas Opening Day roster spot as a potential fifth-man starter or as a viable bullpen option. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti