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Gio much better in second rehab start

Jun 12, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT

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Gio Gonzalez completed his second minor league rehab assignment on Thursday night, and this time came away with much better results.

The lefty threw four innings for the Single-A Potomac Nationals and allowed one run on two hits and four walks. He faced 18 batters and struck out seven.

Gonzalez pitched against the Winston-Salem Dash, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Gonzalez actually played for the Dash back in 2005 as a 19-year-old prospect.

Gonzalez is working his way back from left shoulder inflammation, an injury that has kept him out nearly a month. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 18 and made his first rehab start on June 6. In two outings with the P-Nats he gave up a total of nine earned runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched.

Gonzalez threw 79 pitches on Thursday night, 45 of them strikes. He is expected to join the Nationals’ rotation next week, likely in time to face the Houston Astros at home. The team does have an off-day on Monday, putting him on target to return June 18.

Gonzalez made nine starts for the Nationals before going on the disabled list. He is 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 50 2/3 total innings with the Nats this season.

  1. David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    He says the walks were a result of him working on things. I think he’s ready. He’s probably going to be rusty in his first start back whether it’s not or later, I don’t think another rehab start will help him any.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    If he takes Treinen’s spot probably he pitches Wednesday against Houston and Scott Feldman.

  3. veejh - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Let’s just say if Gio never got hurt, the team wouldn’t have set that strikeout without a walk all time record.

    • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      So true. Gio walked at least one batter in 31 straight starts last year. He finally had a no walk outing on September 24, his last start of the year. In 2012, he did it 4 times out of 32 starts.

  4. manassasnatsfan - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    He says his walks were result of working on things.

    My observation is that is partially true. He was working on locating a curve to eighties on the outside corner. They were mostly outside.

    His fastball had some movement and most time whiffed.

    Interestingly another rehab was happening Chase bother to mention. Jeff Colbunus was down from Syracuse. He DHed.

    He actually created the winning run. He walked in the 8th, he then stole on the first pitch. He stole 3rd on the third pitch. The catcher threw the ball into left, and he scampered in with the winning run.

  5. David Proctor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:25 AM

    I think the concern over Gio’s walks are generally overstated. Not so much on his rehab assignment, but in general. He’s going to walk people. He has his entire career. That’s not going to change. His command isn’t the best. His walks are actually down from his Oakland days, but I suspect that has to do more with the pitcher replacing the DH than anything else. He’s effectively wild. Sometimes he’ll have a start where he blows up or where he walks the world, but those are rare. 2012 may have created some unrealistic expectations for Gio. It was a career year and it probably won’t happen again. But it doesn’t need to. All he needs to be is who he has always been and he’ll be just fine. That’s about a 15 game winner with about a 3.20 ERA and a strikeout per inning. Any team would love to have that, even if the process makes you pull your hair out sometimes.

    • David Proctor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:30 AM

      Also, this tidbit from Wagner’s article on Gio’s rehab assignment made me laugh.

      “When Gonzalez successfully flipped a curveball for a first-pitch strike in the fourth inning, he literally tipped his cap to himself”

    • natszee - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      +1

      I think he is slightly better than you describe but for the most part he is what he is and that’s pretty good! Hopefully he has recovered and can continue to be the horse. If I remember correctly he is in the top 5 for wins by a lefty in the last 5 years.

    • Brookstoor - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Agreed David. The term “effectively wild” describes Gio perfectly. Those walks are part of his pitching style. He gets swings and misses on both strikes and balls. Sometimes they don’t swing at the balls. Yeah, we don’t need him to be the 2.79 ERA pitcher he was in 2012. He’s fun to watch and when he is in total control of his pitches he can almost go no-hitter.

    • chaz11963 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Very true David. Gio’s career numbers from Fangraphs are:

      K/0-8.83
      BB/9-4.00
      HR/9-0.79
      ERA-3.64

  6. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    It just hit me that Gio is now really our # 5 pitcher, the way Roark & Fister are throwing. I realize that after opening week all those numbers are sort of meaningless but seriously, when we enter the playoffs, how could you not pitch Fister, JZimmnn,& SS in your first 3 games.

    Waiting to be blasted for both talking about playoffs & Gio’s ranking but my point is, our starting pitching is insanely good.

    Go Nats!

    • David Proctor - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:52 AM

      I’d start a healthy Gio over Roark in the postseason, but your point is very well taken. We’re loaded right now.

    • veejh - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      Righty, righty, righty. Bleh.

      • sjm308 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        win – win win Yea!!!

    • natsguy - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      A little presumptious about playoffs. I’ll bet if somebody did some research they would find that most of his walks are in the 4th or 5th inning. Gio seems to almost always lose his focus (command) right around then. If he doesn’t he usually has an outstanding game.

  7. tcostant - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    79 pitches in 4 IP, that sounds like Gio…

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