Blake Treinen to replace Gio Gonzalez in Nationals rotation


(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Nationals will summon right-hander Blake Treinen from Class AAA Syracuse to take Gio Gonzalez’s place in the rotation Thursday in Pittsburgh, Manager Matt Williams said. Treinen received the nod over Taylor Jordan, a member of the opening day rotation currently pitching for Syracuse.

“It’s hard to deny him that opportunity after how he pitched against the Dodgers,” Williams said. “It’s really hard. He pitched really well, and he’s been building from there. He’ll be prepared.”

Treinen wowed the Nationals all spring training, and he impressed them again in that spot start May 6 against the Dodgers. Treinen bobbled a ball that derailed his start, but he allowed no earned runs in five innings, striking out two and walking none. In 11 2/3 major league innings total this year, Treinen has allowed one earned run.

Having started for Syracuse on Friday, Treinen will pitch on five days rest, just one more than usual. Treinen throws a power sinker that reaches 98 miles per hour and mixes it with a wicked curveball. In six starts at Class AAA this year, Treinen has a 1.96 ERA.

The Nationals are not certain how long they will be without Gonzalez, who landed on the disabled list Sunday with left shoulder inflammation. But an enhanced MRI revealed no damage beyond mere inflammation, so Gonzalez should not miss much more than three turns through the rotation.

“He’s going to be down a few days, no throw, and then we’ll build him back up, for his next start,” Williams said. “We’re not really clear on when that would be. It depends how he goes. But structurally, he’s fine, which is a good sign.”

In order to add Treinen to the roster, the Nationals will likely send down Ryan Mattheus, who joined the Nationals as an extra arm Sunday to take Gonzalez’s roster spot.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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