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Gio Headed to Phoenix for the ASG

July 3, 2011

Lest we think another Athletic is being shipped out in advance of the July 31st trade deadline, alas Gio Gonzalez is going to Phoenix to participate in the 2011 All-Star Game representing the Oakland A’s and the American League. It seemed pretty obvious that Gio would be the one selected from Oakland. The only other candidates that would have been reasonable would have been Brad Ziegler or Grant Balfour but given that middle relievers are less likely selections (Aaron Crow is the only middle reliever on the AL squad whereas Tyler Clippard of the Nats is the lone middle reliever on the NL squad) it seemed assured Gio would be the lone selection and he was.

Gonzalez – who is also today’s starter – has been solid for the A’s. While his baseball card stats are a big more impressive than his sabermetric stats he nonetheless has had a great season sporting a 7-5 record with a 2.38 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched across sixteen starts. The rate stats look good, his 8.7 K/9 is up above his career mark of 8.5 while is 4.1 BB/9, is still very high (3rd highest in the AL among qualified pitchers), it is lower than his career mark of 4.5 BB/9. His 2.o WAR season has been aided by a strong though not stellar 3.29 FIP.

This will be Gio Gonzalez’ first All-Star appearance, and given his youth – he is only 25 years old – and continued improvement as a pitcher, this could be his first of many. Gio has been an anchor on the A’s staff as pitcher after pitcher has succumb to injury (virtually everyone in the original rotation) or inconsistency (Trevor Cahill) and as every team is represented in the All-Star Game, Gio is a fine choice to represent the Oakland Athletics.

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