- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gio Gonzalez is going on the disabled list for the first time in his career, the latest injury blow to a Nationals team that already featured a DL loaded with stars.

The Nats put Gonzalez on the DL Sunday morning with left shoulder inflammation a day after he was knocked around by the Mets. Washington recalled reliever Ryan Mattheus before Sunday’s series finale against New York and but has yet to determine who will step into the rotation in the left-hander’s place.

General manager Mike Rizzo said before Sunday’s game that Gonzalez was having an MRI arthrogram on his shoulder — a more detailed process than a normal MRI that involves dye being injected into the affected area. Because Gonzalez isn’t allowed to throw for five days after the procedure, the Nats decided to play it safe and shut him down for two weeks even before receiving the results of the MRI.

“Approximately a month or so ago we pushed him back a start because he had a little soreness then, and felt better throughout the starts,” Rizzo said. “Yesterday after the game he complained that it was barking a little bit, it was a little bit beyond normal soreness for him after a game.”

Rizzo said he doesn’t have a “great concern level” about the prognosis because Gonzalez’s arm speed, velocity and rotation rate on his breaking balls have looked normal recently.

Still, Gonzalez has been hit hard in consecutive starts, his worst back-to-back performances since arriving in Washington. For the season, he’s 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA — not great numbers. As a guy known for his durability, though, not being able to take the mound at all for at least two weeks figures to be the biggest blow for Gonzalez.

“I talked to him late last night and he was bummed out a little bit, depressed, but that’s his personality,” Rizzo said. “He wants to help the ballclub, he’s a great team guy, and he knows that if he misses any kind of time, he’s a vital part of this club. He’s never been on the DL before, so this is something that’s new to him.”

But not to his team. Gonzalez joins a Nationals disabled list that already features Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche.



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