Washington Nationals News: Gio Gonzalez hopes for longer leash under Dusty Baker
Today’s District Daily features stories on Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez and Dusty Baker‘s hopes for the bench.
Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses Gio Gonzalez’ hopes for the 2016 season. As Collier writes in his article, Gonzalez wants to see a longer leash from new manager Dusty Baker than what he had with Matt Williams.
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Williams, whom the Nationals fired in October, tended to go to the bullpen early in games. According to Collier, Gonzalez averaged around 5 2/3 innings per start last season.
As Collier notes, the 2016 season is the last guaranteed year on Gonzalez’ contract. The Nationals have a $12 million option for 2017, but if Gonzalez underperforms this season, there’s no guarantee that the team will keep him on board next year.
One thing’s for certain, 2016 will be a crucial year for Gonzalez. And if he can return to the dominant form he showed in 2012, he could help lead the Nationals back to the postseason this season.
Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses Baker’s plan for the bench this season. As Ladson notes, Baker wants to see plenty of versatility from his bench, including speed, power and switch-hitting capabilities.
Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
Gio hopes for longer leash under Baker
VIERA, Fla. — In his first season with the Nationals in 2012, Gio Gonzalez delivered a stellar performance with a 2.89 ERA en route to a third-place finish for the National League Cy Young Award. Since then, he has become a fixture with Washington, transforming from the clean-cut look he sported back then to the long flowing hair he has been growing out since last year.
But Gonzalez is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract; the Nationals do hold a $12 million option for 2017, with a vesting option in 2018 that becomes guaranteed if Gonzalez reaches 180 innings in ’17. Read full article here.
Baker wants versatility off Nats bench
VIERA, Fla. — Nationals manager Dusty Baker knows it’s important to have a deep bench in case of injuries or for when he wants to give his regulars a day off.
Clint Robinson, Michael Taylor, Jose Lobaton and Stephen Drew enter Spring Training as the ones expected to be on the bench this season. Players such as Tyler Moore, Chris Heisey, Reed Johnson and Chris Bostick are fighting for a spot on the team. Read full article here.