Team USA added another ace to its starting rotation Saturday, announcing that Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez will join the team’s roster for the World Baseball Classic.
After flying under the radar during four seasons in Oakland, Gonzalez burst onto the scene in his first year in Washington, posting a 21-8 record with a 2.89 ERA as the team’s No. 2 starter behind Stephen Strasburg.
The 27-year-old, who earned his first All-Star trip in 2012, will join National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and Rangers southpaw Derek Holland in Team USA’s rotation. American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is reportedly considering joining the team, as well.
Gonzalez has been back in the news lately for off-the-field issues, as records released by the Miami New Times on Jan. 29 linked his name to an anti-aging clinic in Florida that reportedly administered performance-enhancing drugs. No formal charges have been filed, and Gonzalez responded to the claims via Twitter, calling the report completely false.
Team USA players are expected to report to camp March 3, with the team’s first game scheduled for March 8 against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix.