With Kris Medlen and Andy Pettitte out and Justin Verlander still making up his mind, the Team USA rotation was down to R.A. Dickey, Ryan Vogelsong and Derek Holland. Hardly a rotation of slouches (you could do very well in MLB with a front three that looked like that), but not exactly the names to strike fear into the hearts of the world’s hitters.
Well, yesterday, Team USA got an upgrade: Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals. Although currently under a cloud of suspicion due to his name being on the Biogenesis papers (but apparently not linked to any banned substances), Gonzalez instantly gives Team USA’s rotation a good shot in the arm. He won 21 games last season while leading the NL in strikeouts per 9 IP and fewest HR per 9 IP. He’s left-handed, young, and a two-time All-Star.
And, more importantly, it gives Team USA two aces, not just one, as well as two left-handed starters, not just one.
And, what’s more, if Verlander decides to play, it could allow Team USA to have a rotation of Verlander, Dickey, Gonzalez, Vogelsong and Holland.
And that rotation would strike fear into the hearts of the world’s hitters.