Results tagged ‘ Alberto Gonzalez ’

30 Players in 30 Days: Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto Gonzalez in the Stands.jpgIt took Alberto Gonzalez a while to get to the States in 2003, not because he was searching for a team to sign him, but rather because he was searching for a visa and proper paperwork. “It was hard,” he said. “The Venezuelan government doesn’t want to give them to you because they think you are going to stay in the U.S. to live after you are done playing.”


It didn’t get any easier when he finally got to America.


“It was just me and my wife,” Gonzalez said. “My family is still in Venezuela. It was hard being here alone at first.”


It hasn’t been any easier cracking the starting the lineup on a consistent basis either. At the same time, Gonzalez hasn’t had a problem becoming the Nats super utility man. He can field all four infield positions with Gold Glove-like skills too. He played in 105 games (71 starts) and had 291 at-bats last season. And with the log jam at second base this season, he saw his at-bats drop drastically. He was used primarily as a defensive replacement and appeared in 114 games–but started just 37 of them. He registered only 186 at-bats and never got in a groove offensively. The most consistent playing time he received all year was at the end of the season when he filled in for an injured Ryan Zimmerman at third base for ten games.


It appears Gonzalez will be used in the same role next season but with the departure of Adam Kennedy, his playing time could increase. He has expressed interest in playing more but with Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa entrenched as infield starters, it seems inevitable that Gonzalez will once again be a spot starter and defensive replacement for the Nats.

Nationals Players & First Ladies at Capital Area Food Bank

Gonzo, Harris and Nieves.JPGNationals Players Willie Harris, Alberto Gonzalez, Wil Nieves and their wives–The First Ladies–volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank yesterday. The players and First Ladies, along with members of the Nationals Communications and Community Relations staff, packed meals for the Capital Area Food Bank’s Weekend Bag program, a service that provides weekly bags of food for children who do not have access to school meals. At the Food Bank warehouse, the group was able to pack 640 bags to be delivered to community-based sites for distribution to area children.

Nieves and his wife, Yormarie, visited the Food Bank last year to pack meals for a similar program. Both were especially eager to return again this year to help out kids in need, as they are expecting their first child this summer.

“It’s surprising that most of the people that don’t have food are kids,” Nieves said. “I can’t imagine having my kid without food just for one day.”

Harris at the food shelf.jpgIn support of the Capital Area Food Bank’s efforts to end hunger in the DC Metro area, the Nationals are teaming up with them for the fifth consecutive year to host the Annual Food Drive at Nationals Park on May 22 and 23 when the Nationals take on the Baltimore Orioles. Fans may donate non-perishable food items and paper products (plates, cups, napkins, etc.) outside the Center Field Gate from the time gates open through the fourth inning. All items collected will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank and the 478,000-plus people they serve through 700 nonprofit partner agencies.

“We love what they do for the community here in Washington,” Nieves said. “It feels good that we just can help any way we can, just a little bit of our time, I know we’re going to make a difference.”

30 Players in 30 Days: Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto Gonzalez

Once rated the best defensive infielder in the Yankees farm system by Baseball America, Alberto Gonzalez was a great asset for the Nationals this year. He is a versatile player, seeing time at third base, second base and shortstop in 2009.

041909-462 a. gonzalez.JPGThe Venezuelan infielder has often been described as a plus defender, something highlighted by his .995 fielding percentage at second base this season. Originally slated to be a utility player, Gonzalez earned the starting job at second base following the 2009 All-Star break, making way for his predecessor, Anderson Hernandez, to be traded to the Mets.

Gonzalez ended the season on a high note. In the final game of the year at Atlanta, with the Braves and Nationals tied after 15 innings, Gonzalez laced a single to center field off of reliever Boone Logan to drive in Elijah Dukes for the eventual game-winning run. This capped off a seven game win streak for the Nats, their second longest winning streak of the season.

With the Nationals second base situation still uncertain for next year, it is unclear what role Gonzalez will play in 2010. What is known is that Gonzalez is a young, quality defender with a stellar fielding percentage at second base in 2009 to prove it. He will succeed wherever the Nationals decide to use him.

Alberto Gonzalez Final Stats