The scary thing about the Washington Nationals and their recent surge to the top of the National League East is the fact that they aren’t even full strength at the moment.
Bryce Harper is still missing from a lineup that continues to struggle to be consistent. Catcher Wilson Ramos was recently placed on the disabled list for the second time this season. On the pitching side of things, Gio Gonzalez has been on the DL recently for the first time in his career with discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
The Nats still might be searching for answers in the lineup from time to time, but it looks like their ridiculous pitching staff is only going to get stronger as Gonzalez is all set to return after making two rehab appearances.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Gonzalez said the following about his shoulder:
I know I’m ready,” Gonzalez said after his start. “I’m ready to go. I’m ready to slot myself back in there. Arm feels great. I feel like I’m ready to do my part.”
“It feels great,” he said. “No problem. No barking. Nothing. Just here you go. I felt like I was a little more on top of the ball this time. Fastball was coming out with more life. I felt like where I needed to be.”
Teams tend to ere on the side of caution with shoulder injuries, especially in a case like Gonzalez’s where he has never been on the DL before. As such, it sounds like they will wait to have Gonzalez return to the rotation until Wednesday of next week to get him a sixth day of rest (according to James Wagner).
At that point the Nationals will add one of the most consistent starting pitchers in baseball over the last four seasons to a rotation that is already dominating the league.