KANSAS CITY -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez acknowledged Sunday that he is going to miss his good friend, catcher Kurt Suzuki, who was traded back to the Athletics on Thursday.
Their friendship dates back to 2006, when both players participated in the All-Star Futures Game. They were later teammates for four seasons in Oakland before being reunited in Washington for more than a year.
"Suzuki has been part of my entire [Major League] career, especially coming up with Oakland," Gonzalez said. "I played with Suzuki in the Futures Game in 2006. I was 20 years old. I'm about to be 28. ... Suzuki made an impact on my career and he made an impact on me as a person. He is well-loved in the Nationals organization. ... You are going to miss him a lot and you wish him the best in his career."
Gonzalez believes Suzuki will have a positive impact on the Athletics, and it was proven on Saturday afternoon, when he caught a 2-1 A's victory against the Orioles.
"The game before that was like 9-7 [in favor of the Orioles]," Gonzalez said. "So a catcher does make a huge impact on a starting pitcher or the bullpen. He is the one that definitely does most of the homework. If Suzuki is on his game -- Suzuki knows what he is doing -- I think Oakland is going to be sitting pretty."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less