Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez was named in the Miami New Times report as a patient of the Biogenesis clinic. It should be noted that the clinic records do not tie Gonzalez with any drugs that are on the MLB banned list.
That said, he will still likely be subject to whatever further investigation MLB mounts. In light of that, he has issued a statement, reported in the Washington Times:
“I’ve never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will. I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”
Unfortunately, similar past statements of players associated with PEDs have either proven to be false themselves or have gone unheeded in the rush to convict players of PED use in the court of public opinion whether evidence exists or not.
We must, however, take Gonzalez at his word for now and not throw him into the pile of known PED users unless or until there is evidence to do so. I know many fans and members of the media can’t keep from doing so, but to do anything else is simply wrong.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.