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Gio Gonzalez will be a major force in the rotation.
The Nationals rotation is arguably the best in baseball. There is a nice mixture of left-handed and right-handed, with two quality lefty starters.
Led by emerging superstar and staff ace, Stephen Strasburg, this pitching staff is a major strong point for Washington.
The departed Edwin Jackson was replaced with Dan Haren, and the rest of the 2012 rotation returns to the league’s best team from a year ago.
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez finished third in the 2012 Cy Young voting, compiling a 21-8 record with 207 strikeouts and an outstanding 2.89 ERA. He threw two complete games and held opponents to a .206 batting average.
Jordan Zimmermann is a potential ace and is slated into the third spot in the rotation. He had an above average year in 2012 with a 12-8 record and 2.94 ERA. Not the dominating pitcher that Strasburg or Gonzalez is, Zimmermann has been quietly effective.
Ross Detwiler developed into a solid starting pitcher last season, throwing some quality innings in a spot that was supposed to just bridge the gap back to Strasburg. He will be looked at to give the Nationals similar numbers to last season, a 3.40 ERA in 164.1 innings. Holding his opponents to a career-low .241 average makes him a quality back-end of the rotation starter.
Bringing in Haren gives the Nationals some much needed depth and experience in the starting rotation. While he had a down year last season, posting a 4.33 ERA, he has always been a front-end of the rotation starter. A change of scenery, a change of leagues and a new spot in the rotation will enable Haren to go back to the success of 2011. In that year he was 16-10, threw a career high four complete games and had a 3.17 ERA.
A deep rotation, pitchers are the backbone of any team. You’re only as good as your pitching, and this Nationals team certainly has developed a strong pitching staff.
A rotation with Strasburg and Gonzalez at the helm is one that’s bound for glory.