The waiting game continues for Gio Gonzalez, Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals.
With pitchers and catchers arriving in Viera, Fla., the inevitable questions were asked to Gonzalez about his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, which allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players.
"I feel very confident," the left-hander said. "At the end of the day, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will. I'm actually pretty excited about this year."
The Washington Post also reported that Gonzalez had urine and blood samples taken two days following the release of the Miami New Times' story about the South Florida clinic. The results had yet to be announced, and a player is only notified if he fails the test.
General manager Rizzo confirmed at spring training that the Nationals have no contingency plan in place to sign a free agent pitcher, such as former Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, if Gonzalez is suspended for any amount of time.
"We're always looking to get ourselves better and deeper, and if there's something to be done that makes sense for us, we'll certainly be doing it," Rizzo said.
Rizzo said he has complete confidence that Gonzalez did nothing wrong, and he expects to put the left-hander on the mound every fifth day.
Manager Davey Johnson also believes that Gonzalez is clean.
"I have gotten to know him real well, and I know he's very conscious of taking care of himself," Johnson said at spring training. "I'm sure he wouldn't do anything that he knew was breaking the rules."
Gonzalez also will pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.