González with the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals – No. 47
September 19, 1985 |
|August 6, 2008 for the Oakland Athletics|
(through April 10, 2015)
|Earned run average||3.59|
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.
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.
In 2005, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Aaron Rowand and Daniel Haigwood for slugger Jim Thome. While with the Phillies, Baseball America rated Gonzalez the number-2 prospect in their farm system behind Cole Hamels in 2006.
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 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
On August 8, 2012, Gonzalez hit his first career home run off Houston Astros pitcher Armando Galarraga and pitched his second career complete game. On August 31, Gonzalez pitched his first career shutout in a 10–0 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals. 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. 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.
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.
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.
In the first half of 2014, Gonzalez went 6-5 with a 3.56 ERA. 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.
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. 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.
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[update]).
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- Milon, Hayley (June 5, 2012). "Gio's new charity paying immediate dividends". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- "Kristina Akra sits down with Gio Gonzalez to discuss his personality, family and love of comics". YouTube. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
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