Michael Vela Gonzalez was born on May 23, 1978 in Robstown, Texas.
Mike is 6’2” tall, weighs 215 pounds, bats right and throws left.
High School Mike graduated in 1996 from Harvest Christian Academy in Pasadena, Texas.
College Mike attended San Jacinto Junior College.
Minor Leagues Mike was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th round of the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft.
Majoer Leagues Mike made his major league debut on August 11, 2003. He was a relief pitcher for the Pirates from 2003 to 2006, with a fastball consistently clocked in the mid-90s and a devastating late-breaking slider.
Mike converted all 24 save attempts during the 2006 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, he missed most of the season because of an elbow injury.
Mike, and Brent Lillibridge, were traded to the Atlanta Braves for Adam LaRoche and Jamie Romak on January 17, 2007.
Mike was placed on the DL on May 16, 2007, with a left elbow strain. After tests, it was announced on May 25, 2007, that he would require Tommy John surgery and would miss the rest of the 2007 season.
Mike did not make his return to the game until June 18, 2008, when he pitched a perfect 9th inning and recording a save against the Texas Rangers.
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