Johnson stands by Gonzalez after Bosch report

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he supports left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who denied that he used performance-enhancing drugs. A report from the Miami New Times linked the left-hander to Anthony Bosch, who reportedly supplied PEDs to professional athletes from Miami.

Gonzalez reiterated recently that he didn't use PEDs, and Johnson believes him.

"Knowing Gio, I figured there's nothing much to it," Johnson said. "I got to know him real well. I know that he is very conscious of taking care of himself. I know all pitchers are looking for vitamins and whatever they can to help, but he takes care of himself very well. I'm sure he wouldn't do anything to break the rules."

Even though Gonzalez's name has surfaced in the Miami New Times, it has not intensified the Nationals' search to look for a starting pitcher in case Gonzalez is suspended.

"I can't talk about the Gio situation. Right now, I expect to put him in the lineup every fifth day," general manager Mike Rizzo said.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez is scheduled to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez is expected to get at least three starts with the Nationals before he joins the team. Gonzalez is expected to pitch his first game in the Classic on March 10.