Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez announced that he won’t be heading to the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Well, that’s until Team USA starts round two, should they indeed make it there.
National’s manager Davey Johnson wanted Gonzalez to stay in Spring Training until the second round of the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez had no real issue with that, and his decision allows him to start in three Spring Training games on Feb. 25, March 2, and March 7, before potentially joining Team USA in Miami.
“I think they want me to come out here and work with the guys through the end of the month, and if we advance to the second round, I’ll be going down to Miami to pitch at home,” said Gonzalez, a South Florida native.
The decision also the Nationals pitchers to stay on a normal five-day schedule.
Gonzalez had a terrific 2012 season with the Nationals and his first year in the National League. Once the Philadelphia Phillies‘ number-two prospect, Gonzalez played for Oakland Athletics in 2011 before being traded to the Nationals.
Before the 2012 season, the Nationals signed him to a five-year $42 million extension, and he rightfully earned his pay check by leading the majors in wins and setting personal highs in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts.
He also won the 2012 Warren Spahn Award for being the best left-handed pitcher in the majors. If 2012 wasn’t good enough for Gonzalez, he also hit his first career home run.
This decision shows that Gonzalez is committed to his team and what’s best for his team. If Gonzalez can pitch as well he did in 2012, division foes will be wishing he wasn’t on the Nationals, but on their team.