Last year while pitching for the Oakland Athletics, Gio Gonzalez was named to the American League All-Star team. He only faced one batter in the game at Chase Field in Arizona but he got the Cincinnati Reds' Jay Bruce to strike out in his cameo appearance.
In the off season, the Athletics decided not to sign Gio long term. As a result, they traded him to the Washington Nationals for four prospects. The Nationals thought so highly of Gio that they gave him a long term contract with options to keep him in our Nation's Capitol for many years to come.
Gio has responded by showing the Nationals' upper management that they've made a very sound business decision.
Based on the first half of his first season with the first place Nationals, he's shown that he's more than worth the prospects they gave up for him.
After winning 31 games over the last two seasons he played in Oakland, he has 12 wins against 3 losses for the Nationals in a half a season so far.
If he keeps pitching well during the second half of the season, he could finish with at least 20 wins which is a rarity these days.
Yesterday Gio made his last start before the All-Star break. He threw six quality innings as he earned his 12th win. That tied him for the major league lead with R.A. Dickey of the Mets who's having a career year.
With the victory, Gio now has 50 wins at the major league level.
Back in May 2009, I saw Gio at an autograph table while he was spending time in the minor leagues at Sacramento the Athletics' Triple A affiliate after he had a brief stint in the majors. Shortly after that, Gio was recalled by the Athletics and now he's in the major leagues to stay.
He's come along way since then and with that being said, I'm so proud of all his hard work and the positive attitude that he brings to the table. As a result, he's now a rising star at the major league level.
Gio has had bouts with his control in his time at the major league level from time to time. Being a southpaw, it's not surprising. He has cut down the number of walks he's allowed the last few years. This season he continues to minimize the free passes he issues. His strikeout to walk ratio is almost 3 to 1 which is excellent. I hope he continues to built on his success.
Gio has a good track record of staying healthy which is key to his long term success. Over the last two and a half years, he's made all his starts.
This year he's thrown 101 and two thirds innings so far. He ha allowed only 71 hits including just 4 home runs which is impressive to say the least. He has struck out 118 batters which is more than one per inning and he's walked only 42. So if you do the math he has a 2.8 strikeouts to walks ratio. His earned run average is 2.92. That proves his future is very bright.
Time will tell. One thing is for sure Tuesday night he will be representing the National League and the Washington Nationals proudly in the Major League All Star Game Tuesday night in Kansas City. I plan to tune to watch him shine again.
I want to wish Gio only the best of luck in the second half.
Regardless of what happens I'm always behind him. He's such a great guy on and off the field, it's hard not to root for him. If and when you get to meet him sometime, you'll see what I mean.
Thank you for reading and following along.