Gio Gonzalez (5-8, 4.70 ERA)
The Washington Nationals ended the first half with the best starters ERA in all of baseball and that’s even with the struggles of Gio Gonzalez. It wasn’t all bad for the left-hander in the first half. In the first month of the season, Gonzalez was 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA in four starts and held opponents to a .196 batting average.
Then, it went all downhill from there. Since May 18, the left-hander has only won three games and he still has the same command issues as he had last year. During the month of June, the 30-year-old was 1-4 with a 6.95 ERA in six starts and teams were hitting .295.
It all started on May 23 when Gonzalez gave up seven runs on ten hits, including three home runs, over five innings in a loss to the Mets. During that game, Baker put Wilson Ramos behind the plate instead of Jose Lobaton. But, as we have seen the last two months, that was not the only reason why Gonzalez has been mediocre, to say the least.
When we look at Gonzalez’s season, the walks have continued to be a concern. He has three or more walks in five of his last six starts and has the most walks of anyone in the Washington Nationals starting rotation.
With that being said, Gonzalez did show improvements towards the end of the first half as he won two of his last three starts. This is a big second half for Gonzalez, who has a team option on his contract after this season ($12 million, $500,000 buyout). The Washington Nationals need more consistency from their veteran left-hander in the second half of the season.
Next: Felipe Rivero