Updates from Wednesday, June 18
MLB Roster Moves confirmed Gio Gonzalez's return to the Nationals:
The @Nationals reinstate LHP Gio Gonzalez from 15-day DL; option LHP Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A Syracuse.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) June 18, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 16
James Wagner of The Washington Post provides a synopsis of Nationals manager Matt Williams discussing Gio Gonzalez's return:
Also, Tanner Roark will start Tuesday and Gio Gonzalez to start Wednesday vs. Houston Astros, per Matt Williams.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 15, 2014
Updates from Friday, June 13
CSN's Mark Zuckerman has the latest on Gonzalez's return:
#Nats call up LHP Xavier Cedeno, send RHP Blake Treinen to AAA. Gives them 8th reliever til Gio Gonzalez comes off DL, likely Wednesday.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 13, 2014
MASN's Dan Kolko confirmed Zuckerman's report:
Matt Williams confirms Gio Gonzalez will be activated next week but says him starting Weds isn't set. Off-day Monday gives #Nats options— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) June 13, 2014
Updates from Thursday, June 12
James Wagner of the Washington Post has an update on Gonzalez:
Gio attributes the better but still so-so command to working on offspeed pitches. He says he wants to rejoin Nats. "I'm ready to go."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 13, 2014
Updates from Saturday, June 7
The Nationals have an update on Gonzalez:
#Nats Manager Matt Williams said LHP Gio Gonzalez is expected to make another rehab start on June 12, likely back with Single-A Potomac.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 8, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 3
The Nationals provide an update on Gio Gonzalez's recovery:
#Nats Manager Matt Williams said LHP Gio Gonzalez will make a rehab start with Single-A Potomac on Friday.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 3, 2014
MASN's Dan Kolko provides more details:
Gio Gonzalez will make a rehab start Friday at Potomac. 65ish pitches. Blake Treinen threw sim game today. Will start Saturday vs. Padres— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) June 3, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 1
The Nationals provided an image of Gio Gonzalez participating in rehab today:
James Wagner of The Washington Post shared this update:
Gonzalez threw with the same apparent force as normal. In the second and third simulated innings, Gonzalez kept the ball down in the strike zone. After the session, Gonzalez walked into the clubhouse with Kuntz and teammates. Moore said Gonzalez didn’t look like a pitcher who had been out of game action for two weeks.
Wagner also passed along quotes from teammate Tyler Moore, who spoke about Gonzalez's performance:
His velo was up, His curveball was sharp. Change-up was good. Throwing strikes when he needed to. He was trying to work on his curveball for a strike so he did it a few times. I think he looked good. Tough at-bat for sure.
Updates from Friday, May 30
The Nationals gave an update on Gonzalez's status:
#Nats Mgr Matt Williams said Gio Gonzalez threw 35 P in bullpen session yest. & felt good. If all stays well, plan for simulated game Sun.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 30, 2014
Updates from Monday, May 26
William Ladson of MLB.com reports Gio Gonzalez is participating in an activity this morning:
Updates from Saturday, May 24
Mark Zuckerman of Concast SportsNet provides an update on Gio Gonzalez's status:
Gio Gonzalez played catch today, first time since going on DL. Reported no problems with his shoulder.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 24, 2014
Updates from Friday, May 23
Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman has the latest on Gonzalez' status:
Gio Gonzalez’s planned throwing session Friday — his first since going on the disabled list Sunday — was called off after the Nationals left-hander noted stiffness in his injured shoulder.
Manager Matt Williams expressed no concern about the development, referring to it as “normal” and saying Gonzalez simply will be pushed back a day
“We set out the plan and try to go to that plan, but sometimes you’ve got to make adjustments,” Williams said prior to the Nationals’ game against the Pirates. “It’s only a day. I think he’ll be good to go tomorrow. … We’ll just push him a day.”
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
Dan Kolko of MASN passed along an update in Gio Gonzalez's rehab after landing on the disabled list:
Gio Gonzalez will throw Friday in Pittsburgh. Will be the first time he's done so since landing in the DL.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 21, 2014
The Washington Nationals have placed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list after a precautionary MRI on his throwing arm Sunday revealed left shoulder inflammation, the team announced:
The #Nats have recalled RHP Ryan Mattheus and placed LHP Gio Gonzalez on the 15-Day DL with left shoulder inflammation.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 18, 2014
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com later provided a synopsis of Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo discussing Gonzalez's injury:
Rizzo "not overly concerned" about Gio injury but won't know until results of enhanced MRI. Placed on DL now because dye injected for test.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 18, 2014
Manager Matt Williams also discussed Gonzalez's status, via Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post:
Williams confirms no damage for Gio. Between Treinen and Jordan to replace him.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) May 18, 2014
Gonzalez was roughed up for his second straight start in Saturday's 5-2 loss to the New York Mets, giving up five earned runs and allowing nine baserunners in only three innings. The two-time All-Star has allowed 12 earned over his last 7.1 innings, ballooning his ERA to 4.62 and his WHIP to 1.34—by far a career high in Washington.
Gonzalez indicated after the game that he noticed his arm slot dropping a lot, per
“You know, it’s one of those things, you just got to keep grinding through,” Gonzalez said. “Just trying to find out what it is. Hopefully, something positive comes out of it. Other than that, just try to stay positive.”
The severity of Gonzalez's inflammation is unclear at this time. Given the glut of arm injuries across Major League Baseball, though, it's fair for those in the nation's capital to worry. A shoulder injury thankfully means he's missed the dreaded UCL tear, the muscle that leads to Tommy John surgery. Commissioner Bud Selig has publicly pushed to find an answer to the problem.
"Let's see if we can find out some answers," Selig said Thursday, per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. "Nobody has them, I'll tell you that—including the doctors and trainers. Everybody you talk to has a different opinion.''
It's unfair to speculate about the length of Gonzalez's absence until a more concrete diagnosis is given. Gonzalez could have a mild strain or merely need a few weeks' rest to rebuild the strength in his arm. He gave up three earned runs or fewer in six of his first seven starts before these recent struggles.
The Nationals will temporarily replace Gonzalez with reliever Ryan Mattheus. The 30-year-old righty has made two big league appearances this season, holding teams without a run in three innings. It is unclear who will take Gonzalez's spot in the rotation. Tanner Roark was just recently moved into the starting rotation after Washington sent a struggling Taylor Jordan back to Triple-A.
Gio Gonzalez going on DL. Mattheus is here, giving #Nats extra reliever for now. They'll need starter Thu in Pitts. Treinen on schedule.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 18, 2014
Jordan may wind up getting recalled for a spot start if the Nationals feel he's the best option. Blake Treinen is another possibility. Either way, this isn't a promising sign. Washington is a half-game behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East, but the margin of error is thin. The Philadelphia Phillies are in last place, yet only 3.5 games out.
With Gonzalez out of the rotation, the Nationals will be increasingly reliant on their bats. Given the way they've scuffled out of the gate, it's clear Washington will hope for the best possible outcome and quickest possible recovery for Gonzalez.