Nationals place LHP Gio Gonzalez on DL, recall RHP Ryan Mattheus

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals placed left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the 15-Day Disabled List with left shoulder inflammation on Sunday morning and recalled right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Syracuse. Gonzalez, who was undergoing an MRI-arthrogram on Sunday morning, is making the first trip to the Disabled List of his career.

San Diego Padres v Washington NationalsGonzalez, 28, is 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA (26 earned runs in 50.2 innings pitched) in nine starts for the Nationals after pitching three innings and taking the loss in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat by the New York Mets.

“We put him on the DL because he’s having an MRI-arthrogram and it’s a five-day no-throw program once you get the die,” Nationals President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo said of the procedure, which involves an injection of die into the area to give the doctors a better picture. “We’ll find out what’s going on and we’ll go from there.

“Combine having a little soreness (Saturday) with having soreness a month ago, we felt this was the prudent way to do it: give him the arthrogram so we can what’s going on in there, put him on the DL for 15 days, give him some rest and relaxation and once we find out what’s going on, we’ll take it from there.”

Since joining the Nationals in 2012, Gonzalez is tied with the Angels’ C.J. Wilson for the Major League lead among left-handed pitchers with 35 wins.

“He’s a durable starter,” Rizzo said. “That’s worth a lot. It helps the ballclub a lot when you can take the mound every fifth day. It’s something the manager and GM really like. He’s a big key to the ballclub so we’d like to get him back, but we’re going to take our time and be careful with him because he’s vital to our team.”

Gonzalez is the eighth member of the Nationals’ Opening Day 25-man roster to land on the DL already this season.

062111-688 ryan mattheus“It’s part of baseball,” Rizzo said of the injuries that have cost the Nationals in total five members of their starting eight position players and two starting pitchers. “That’s why you build depth in the organization. We’re not going to use it as an excuse. We haven’t mentioned it. We’ve got our 25, we’re going to go to battle with those guys and it’s time for guys to pick up the slack and play like they’re supposed to play.”

Mattheus returns for a second stint with the Nationals this season. In two appearances from April 29 – May 5, Mattheus spun 3.0 scoreless innings, scattering 3 singles and a walk, while fanning one.

The 30-year-old Mattheus is 7-7 with 32 holds and just three blown saves in 140 career appearances spanning portions of four seasons (2011-14) with the Nationals.

In 13 appearances with Syracuse this season, Mattheus has two saves (April 16 vs. Lehigh Valley, April 6 vs. Scranton/W-B) and a 5.93 ERA. He has walked four and struck out 11.

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