District Daily: Nationals News 5/19


May 11, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47, right) receives a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty (54, left) against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another National hits the disabled list. News on that and more in today’s District Daily.

Nats place Gio on DL with shoulder inflammation

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — The Nationals on Sunday placed left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list because of left shoulder inflammation and recalled right-handed reliever Ryan Mattheus.

Later Sunday, Gonzalez had an MRI that revealed no structural damage and confirmed the inflammation in the shoulder, according to manager Matt Williams.

Gonzalez becomes the seventh major player — Ryan ZimmermanBryce HarperAdam LaRocheDenard Span, Wilson Ramos and Doug Fister — on the 25-man roster to go on the DL this season.

“I spoke to him late [Saturday] night. He was bummed out a little bit, depressed,” general manager Mike Rizzo said about Gonzalez. “That’s his personality. He wants to help the ballclub. He is a great team guy. He is a vital part of this club. He has never been on the DL before. It’s something that is new to him.” Read full article here.

Strasburg, Leake open Nationals-Reds series in DC

(Manny Randhawa, MLB.com)

Two right-handers who have had impressive starts to the 2014 campaign will take the hill in the nation’s capital on Monday night as the Reds and Nationals open a three-game series at Nationals Park.

Cincinnati’s Mike Leake has not had much run support, which has led to his 2-3 record, but he has posted a 3.09 ERA in his first eight outings. He’ll be opposed by Washington ace Stephen Strasburg, who has a 3.48 ERA through his first nine starts and is tied for fifth in the Majors with 70 strikeouts.

Reds manager Bryan Price said when it’s all said and done, it’s the quality innings that matter more than the wins for Leake. Read full article here.

Nats out to reverse trend of giving up early runs

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Before the Nationals came to bat on Saturday against the Mets, they already found themselves staring up at a 3-0 deficit. That’s been an all-too-common theme this season for Washington.

In 42 games entering Sunday, the Nats have surrendered 42 first-inning runs, 13 more than any other Major League club. Their starting pitchers have a 7.50 ERA in the opening frame and have allowed opposing batters to hit .352 with a .396 on-base percentage and .566 slugging percentage. That .962 OPS is the highest in the Majors by 138 points.

When left-hander Gio Gonzalez was tagged for three quick runs on Saturday, it marked the 16th time this season a Nats starter gave up at least one in the first inning. That includes 10 innings of three runs or more.

Manager Matt Williams said the team has studied how its starters are preparing for games, but hasn’t found anything that suggests a problem. Last year, Washington ranked 14th in the Majors in first-inning ERA. Read full article here.