Washington Nationals News: Gio Gonzalez fine with role as fifth starter
By Pablo Roa
Today’s District Daily discusses Gio Gonzalez‘s roll in the Washington Nationals’ rotation and why fans should forgive closer Jonathan Papelbon.
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 Bill Ladson discusses Gio Gonzalez’s role in the rotation this season. As Ladson writes in his article, Gonzalez is fine with his role as the team’s No. 5 starter is just excited to get his season started.
Gonzalez struggled at times last year, going 11-8 with a 3.79 ERA. His first start this season will be Monday against the Braves at Nationals Park.
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Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Scott Allen gives his take on why Nationals fans should forgive closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was involved in a late-season altercation with Bryce Harper last year that led many Nationals fans to hope that the team would trade him during the offseason.
Of course, the team didn’t trade Papelbon and the closer’s role is his for the 2016 season. Only time will tell if fans will be able to forgive Papelbon, but if he continues to pitch well — he’s recorded two saves in two games — becoming a fan favorite shouldn’t be too difficult.
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 fine with role, eager for game action
ATLANTA — Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez said he is not upset that he is starting the 2016 season as the fifth starter. He’s content as long as he gets the ball when it’s his turn.
Gonzalez will start his first game Monday against the Braves at Nationals Park. It will come after Max Scherzer makes his second start of the season. In the meantime, Gonzalez will be available out of the bullpen.
“Everyone in this rotation is an ace pitcher and is capable of being a No. 1 in any rotation,” Gonzalez said. “I feel like [the Nationals] had a plan with the whole situation and I understood it immediately.” Read full article here.
Nats fans: It’s time to forgive Jonathan Papelbon. Here’s your guide.
(Scott Allen, Washington Post)
You were right. I was wrong. I’m sorry.
After the Nationals traded for Jonathan Papelbon at last year’s trade deadline, bumping homegrown closer Drew Storen to a setup role and eventually out of D.C., I supported the move. I thought it made the team better and even offered several reasons that Nationals fans might come to love (or at least tolerate) Papelbon, whose reputation as a bit of a jerk who’s good at retiring major league hitters preceded him.
Then Washington spiraled out of the playoff race and Papelbon — who I actually described as a “goofball at heart”! — put his hands around Bryce Harper’s neck during an altercation in the Nationals dugout…on fan appreciation day. There was no way, I thought then, that Papelbon would be back on the team in 2016. Read full article here.