Originally written February 07, 2013 on The Nats Blog:
  Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy. When the Washington Nationals traded for Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics, it became the biggest splash of the Nats’ 2011 offseason. Nats fans started getting excited about how the rotation was shaping up, and Gio didn’t disappoint. Gio led the pack among National League pitchers and commanded respect from opposing batters. He pitched 199.1 innings for the Nationals in 2012, and recorded a 2.89 ERA (sixth in NL), .206 batting average against (first in NL), and 1.13 WHIP (eighth in NL). His 207 strikeouts ranked fourth in the National League, and his 21 wins ranked first. All of these tremendous numbers are what earned him consideration as a Cy Young award finalist. He won Pitcher of the Month for May, when got the win in all five of the games he pitched, and recorded a 2.25 ERA and .156 BAA with 45 strikeouts. In 2012, Gio was also invited to play in the All-Star Game for the second time in his career, and he won the Warren Spahn Award as recognition for being the best left-handed pitcher of the year. He could also easily win MLB’s Most Permanent Smile Award if there was such a thing, as the most smiley National brought a great positive energy and sense of humor to the team.  After pitching for Oakland in the American League for four years, Gio only had seven career at-bats to his name when he moved to Washington. He didn’t have the most success at the plate (he finished with a .094 batting average), however, he did hit his first major league home run and he learned a little something about sliding when running the bases (Watch this and tell me you didn’t laugh). Next Year: Gio is signed to a five-year, $42 million contract, with team vesting options for 2017 and 2018, so he can be expected to be showing his smiling face around Washington for many years to come. If he is not subject to disciplinary action from MLB from the ongoing PED investigation he and several other players are involved in, he will pitch second in the rotation for the Nationals. Up Next: #48 Ross Detwiler  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams engage in war of words

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Tracking demanding career paths of all Top 25 head coaches

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Strahan to make cameo as stripper in 'Magic Mike' sequel

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Raiders to make a run at Jon Gruden?

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

NFL admits error on Abdullah penalty

Best, worst MLB players in Sept.

College FB coaches, tough career paths

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.