Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez

Gio González
González with the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals – No. 47
Starting pitcher
Born: (1985-09-19) September 19, 1985
Hialeah, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
August 6, 2008 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Win–loss record 80–58
Earned run average 3.59
Strikeouts 1,072
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Giovany Aramis "Gio" González (born September 19, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. Prior to pitching for the Nationals, he played for the Oakland Athletics. He is of Cuban descent.

Early life

Gonzalez was born in Hialeah, Florida. He attended Hialeah High School in Hialeah, for the first three years of his high school career, where they won two state championships and nearly won a third. After his junior year, he transferred over to Monsignor Edward Pace High School in 2004 where he played with former teammate Chris Marrero.

Playing career

Early years

He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.

In 2005, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Aaron Rowand and Daniel Haigwood for slugger Jim Thome.[1] While with the Phillies, Baseball America rated Gonzalez the number-2 prospect in their farm system behind Cole Hamels in 2006.[2]

In December 2006 he was traded back to the White Sox along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy García.[3] Gonzalez led the minor leagues with 185 strikeouts in 150 innings in 2007.

Oakland Athletics

Gonzalez during his tenure with the Oakland Athletics in 2011

On January 3, 2008, the White Sox traded Gonzalez along with fellow prospects Ryan Sweeney and Fautino de los Santos for outfielder Nick Swisher to the Oakland Athletics. He was ranked the #1 prospect in the White Sox system at the time of the trade.

Gonzalez was called up to the majors on August 5, 2008, and made his debut on August 6.[4] Following the 2009 spring training camp, he was returned to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.[5]

Gonzalez started the 2010 season throwing 6+ innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking 1 in the 10–4 win.

Gonzalez was selected to the 2011 MLB All-Star Game. At the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona, Gonzalez was called out to the mound with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and struck out the only batter he would face, Jay Bruce. On the final day of the 2011 season, Gonzalez threw eleven strikeouts over eight shut-out innings against the Seattle Mariners to secure a career-high 16 wins for the season.

Washington Nationals

On December 23, 2011, Gonzalez was traded with Robert Gilliam to the Washington Nationals for Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Derek Norris and A. J. Cole.[6] On January 15, 2012 Gonzalez signed a five-year extension worth $42 million through 2016 covering his arbitration-eligible years. The deal also includes club options for 2017 and 2018.[7]

Gonzalez became the first pitcher since 1918 to have three consecutive appearances in which he finished a start with at least six shutout innings and no more than two hits allowed.[8] Gonzalez set a Nationals record when he pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings, that ended on April 29, 2012. When the 2012 MLB All-Star Game roster was announced on July 1, Gonzalez found himself on it for the second time in his career.[9] Later that same day, he earned his 11th win on the season after the Nationals topped the Atlanta Braves, 8–4. Gonzalez would earn one more win in his last start before the All-Star break, pushing his record to 12–3 and lowering his ERA to 2.92, and in doing so, was tied for the most number of wins on the first half of the season. His win total tied a Nationals record set in 2005 by Liván Hernández.[10]

On August 8, 2012, Gonzalez hit his first career home run off Houston Astros pitcher Armando Galarraga and pitched his second career complete game.[11] On August 31, Gonzalez pitched his first career shutout in a 10–0 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals.[12] When Gonzalez and the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers on September 22, it moved his record to 20–8 and he became the first pitcher in the MLB to reach the 20-win mark on the season.[13] He finished the regular season with a major league best 21 wins, to go along with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts, winning the 2012 Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in the majors.[14]

2013

Gonzalez's name, along with those of other MLB players, was listed in connection with a clinic thought to produce performance enhancing drugs in a January 2013 report.[15]

On August 5, 2013, Gio Gonzalez was cleared of any wrongdoing having to do with the Biogenesis scandal. He was not among the 12 players who were suspended.[16]

2014

In the first half of 2014, Gonzalez went 6-5 with a 3.56 ERA.[17] On July 20, 2014, Gonzalez recorded his 1,000th career strikeout against the Milwaukee Brewers, including 511 strikeouts with the Oakland Athletics and 489 strikeouts with the Washington Nationals.[18]

Scouting

Gonzalez throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball at 92–95 mph, a two-seam fastball at 91–95, a curveball at 78–82, and a changeup at 85–87 that is used against right-handed hitters. His curveball is used frequently when he is ahead in the count, especially against left-handers.

Gonzalez's pitches have above-average strike out rate whiff rates, with the curveball leading at 36% and the changeup close behind at 35%. His curve also has an outstanding ground ball/fly ball ratio at nearly 7:1.[19] Gio says of his excellent curveball:

My curveball is a blessing. My father taught it to me. He felt that it was a pitch he wanted me to learn, right on the side of the house, and it just ended up working. I never asked what the tricks were, or anything like that. He made it simple for me to use on my own form, and it works for me. I've never changed my grip since the day my dad showed me how to throw it. He taught me how to try to make it look exactly like a fastball.[20]

Gonzalez is a strikeout pitcher, with a rate of nearly 1 per inning over his career. He was fourth in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched in the AL in 2011, and he is second in the NL for the 2012 season (as of 17 August 2012).[21]

Personal life

In 2012, Gonzalez created the GIO (Giving Individuals Opportunities) foundation, a charity to assist medical patients in need of financial support.[22] He is also a comic book hobbyist.[23]

References

  1. ^ "Phillies Get Left-Hander To Finish Thome Deal".  
  2. ^ Radano, Michael (May 1, 2006). "Hamels hoping healthy run leads to Phils' rotation". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Ken Mandel (December 7, 2006). "Phils acquire Garcia from White Sox". Philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Gio Gonzalez set for debut on Wednesday". USA Today. August 5, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Oakland's Young Studs Make Roster".  
  6. ^ "Nationals acquire All-Star lefthander Gio Gonzalez from Athletics as part of six-player trade". Nationals Press Release. December 23, 2011. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Bill Ladson (January 15, 2012). "Nationals extend Gio Gonzalez's contract through 2016 season".  
  8. ^ Roger Schlueter (April 25, 2012). "MLB Notebook: Gio putting up zeroes". MLB.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Archived from the original on April 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (July 1, 2012). "Rosters unveiled for 83rd All-Star Game: Three starters for Rangers, Yankees and Giants; Hamilton smashes vote record". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ Wagner, James (July 8, 2012). "Gio Gonzalez picks up his 12th win in 4-1 victory over Rockies".  
  11. ^ Vingan, Adam (August 9, 2012). "Gio Gonzalez Hits First Career Home Run, Continues Trend of Strong Hitting From Nationals Pitchers".  
  12. ^ "Gio Gonzalez hurls first shutout, Nationalss rout Cardinals 10-0".  
  13. ^ Ladson, Bill (September 22, 2012). "Gio is MLB's first 20-game winner as Nats roll". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ Kilgore, Adam (October 4, 2012). "Gio Gonzalez wins Warren Spahn Award". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ Tim Elfrink (January 31, 2013). "A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names".  
  16. ^ "Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera among players avoiding discipline in Biogenesis".  
  17. ^ Tariq Lee (July 19, 2014). "Airplane trouble delays Gio Gonzalez’s return to Nats’ rotation". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ Daniel Popper (July 20, 2014). "Gio records 1,000th career strikeout". MLB.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Brooks Baseball Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Gio Gonzalez". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  20. ^ Laurila, David (June 13, 2012). "Q&A: Jordan Zimmermann & Gio Gonzalez".  
  21. ^ "Gio Gonzalez Statistics and History".  
  22. ^ Milon, Hayley (June 5, 2012). "Gio's new charity paying immediate dividends".  
  23. ^ "Kristina Akra sits down with Gio Gonzalez to discuss his personality, family and love of comics".  

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)

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