Gio Gonzalez

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Gio González
Gio Gonzalez on April 12, 2012.jpg
Washington Nationals – No. 47
Starting pitcher
Born: (1985-09-19) September 19, 1985 (age 28)
Hialeah, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
August 6, 2008 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through April 13, 2014)
Win–loss record 72–49
Earned run average 3.59
Strikeouts 927
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[edit]

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[edit]

Early years[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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]

Scouting[edit]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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).[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, Gonzalez created the GIO (Giving Individuals Opportunities) foundation, a charity to assist medical patients in need of financial support.[20][21] He is also a comic book hobbyist.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Phillies Get Left-Hander To Finish Thome Deal - MLB News Story - KGTV San Diego". 10news.com. December 8, 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  2. ^ Radano, Michael (2006-05-01). "Hamels hoping healthy run leads to Phils' rotation". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  3. ^ "Phils acquire Garcia from White Sox | phillies.com: News". Philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Gio Gonzalez set for debut on Wednesday". USA Today. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ Oakland's Young Studs Make Roster SI.com, April 4, 2009
  6. ^ Nationals Press Release (December 23, 2011). "Nationals acquire All-Star lefthander Gio Gonzalez from Athletics as part of six-player trade". Nationals.com. 
  7. ^ Singer, Tom (January 15, 2012). "Nationals extend Gio Gonzalez's contract through 2016 season". MLB.com. 
  8. ^ "MLB Notebook: Gio putting up zeroes". Mlb.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. April 25, 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). Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ Wagner, James (July 8, 2012). "Gio Gonzalez picks up his 12th win in 4-1 victory over Rockies". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ Vingan, Adam (2012-08-09). "Gio Gonzalez Hits First Career Home Run, Continues Trend of Strong Hitting From Nationals Pitchers | NBC4 Washington". Nbcwashington.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  12. ^ "Gio Gonzalez hurls first shutout, Nationalss rout Cardinals 10-0". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 31 August 2012. [dead link]
  13. ^ Ladson, Bill (22 September 2012). "Gio is MLB's first 20-game winner as Nats roll". Mlb.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  14. ^ Kilgore, Adam (4 October 2012). "Gio Gonzalez wins Warren Spahn Award". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names". Miami New Times. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera among players avoiding discipline in Biogenesis". SI.com. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Gio Gonzalez". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  18. ^ Laurila, David (June 13, 2012). "Q&A: Jordan Zimmermann & Gio Gonzalez". Fangraphs. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "Gio Gonzalez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  20. ^ Milon, Hayley (June 5, 2012). "Gio's new charity paying immediate dividends". MLB.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Gio Gonzalez Foundation". Facebook.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Kristina Akra sits down with Gio Gonzalez to discuss his personality, family and love of comics". Youtube.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 

External links[edit]