Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves: Gio Gonzalez's Spring Debut GameThread.

The Spring Training debut of the Washington Nationals' big rotation addition, Gio Gonzalez, can be heard on the airwaves (MLB Gameday Audio) via the Atlanta Braves' radio broadcast this afternoon at 1:05 pm EST. The Nats' 26-year-old left-hander is coming off a (16-12) 2011 season in which the fourth-year pro walked 91 (4.05 BB/9), K'd 197 (8.78 K/9) and posted a 3.12 ERA with a 3.64 FIP in 32 starts and 202.0 IP. The Nationals sent four prospects (RHPs Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, LHP Tom Milone and C Derek Norris) to Oakland to get Gonzalez, a Chicago White Sox' '04 1st Round pick who'd pitched over 200.0 innings in each of the last two seasons. The left-hander, D.C. GM MIke Rizzo explained in introducing Gonzalez to the nation's capital this past winter, gives the Nationals a real, "... presence in our rotation. He's had success. He's been a workhorse," Rizzo said, "He's very, very young. Just turned 26. Accomplished a lot of things before his 26th birthday, and gives us a young core of starting pitchers at the major league level that really is in the realm of something that we've never had here before." Gonzalez makes his first start for the Nationals against the Nats' NL East rivals from Atlanta today.

Here's the lineup that the Washington Nationals will put out behind Gonzalez in his first start for the Nats: (ed. note - "Michael Morse was a late scratch this afternoon with a 'lat strain' according to the Nationals @NationalsPR"):

  1. Ian Desmond - SS
  2. Danny Espinosa - 2B
  3. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
  4. Chad Tracy - DH
  5. Jayson Werth - CF
  6. Mark DeRosa - 1B
  7. Bryce Harper - RF
  8. Wilson Ramos - C
  9. Brett Carroll - LF

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