MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Gio can't hide excitement to be part of Nats' rotation

Coming into camp healthy after injury-marred 2014, lefty likes look of five-man group

Gio can't hide excitement to be part of Nats' rotation

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez walked into the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium on Wednesday. One could see the excitement in his face as he prepared to work out. Gonzalez talked about how eager he is to be part of the rotation that includes Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann.

"If you like pancakes, we're stacked. That's how we are," Gonzalez quipped.

Gonzalez had an up-and-down season in 2014, going 10-10 with a 3.57 ERA in 27 starts. The worst part came in the middle of May, when he had to be put on the disabled list because of a shoulder injury. Gonzalez ended up missing a month of the season. But after he returned on June 18, he had a respectable 3.08 ERA.

After the season ended, the veteran lefty went into his shoulder program and threw almost every day. Gonzalez said he is 100 percent healthy.

Gonzalez believes that he can have the season he had in 2012, when he won 22 games for Washington.

"I just want to stay healthy," Gonzalez said. "We have such a strong team, I want to ride the wave with them, enjoy every day of it and just experience what we didn't get to experience."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.