Feb 9, 2013, 9:44 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Gio Gonzalez becomes the second left-handed starter on Team USA’s roster.
Gio Gonzalez has accepted an offer to pitch for Team USA in next month’s World Baseball Classic, a somewhat surprising twist less than two weeks after the Nationals left-hander’s name surfaced in connection with a Miami clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancing drugs.
Gonzalez, whose addition was announced on USA Baseball’s Twitter account, presumably takes the roster spot that opened up when Braves right-hander Kris Medlen withdrew in anticipation of the birth of his first child. He’s currently one of only two left-handed starters scheduled to pitch for Team USA, along with the Rangers’ Derek Holland.
Other projected members of the rotation are the Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey and the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong, though more pitchers (including Tigers ace Justin Verlander) could still be added before the final, 28-man roster must be submitted on Feb. 20.
Gonzalez was selected for the team by USA manager Joe Torre, who also serves as MLB’s executive vice president for baseball
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