Gio Gonzalez Injury: Updates on Nationals Star's Shoulder and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2014

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Updates from Wednesday, June 18

MLB Roster Moves confirmed Gio Gonzalez's return to the Nationals:

Updates from Monday, June 16

James Wagner of The Washington Post provides a synopsis of Nationals manager Matt Williams discussing Gio Gonzalez's return:


Updates from Friday, June 13

CSN's Mark Zuckerman has the latest on Gonzalez's return:

MASN's Dan Kolko confirmed Zuckerman's report:


Updates from Thursday, June 12

James Wagner of the Washington Post has an update on Gonzalez:


Updates from Saturday, June 7

The Nationals have an update on Gonzalez:

Updates from Tuesday, June 3

The Nationals provide an update on Gio Gonzalez's recovery:

MASN's Dan Kolko provides more details:

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:

Updates from Monday, May 26

William Ladson of 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:

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:

Original Text

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: 

Mark Zuckerman of later provided a synopsis of Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo discussing Gonzalez's injury:

Manager Matt Williams also discussed Gonzalez's status, via Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post:

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 KilgoreThat is typically a telltale sign of a pitcher compensating for discomfort. Kilgore was told by sources close to the situation that Gonzalez was scheduled for an MRI early Sunday. 

“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.”

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

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.''

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

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.

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.


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