Nats giving Gonzalez his space (plus clubhouse notes)

VIERA, Fla. - I’ve got a couple more locker-positioning notes for you.

Bryce Harper, who last spring was given a wide locker normally reserved for veterans only to see Jayson Werth take over half of it with his own stuff, has a big locker again this year.

I’m guessing Werth won’t be pushing his weight around this spring when it comes to Harper’s locker, however. I’d say the kid earned a wide locker all to himself with his National League Rookie of the Year effort last season.

The Nats’ expected starting infielders and outfielders are all in one corner of the clubhouse. Harper’s locker is in between Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche, with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman getting the final two spots against the left wall. Center fielder Denard Span and second baseman Danny Espinosa are in that cluster, as well.

Kurt Suzuki and Wilson Ramos have lockers next to each other, with fellow catchers Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon right nearby.

Jersey numbers have obviously been given to every player at this point, so if you are wondering about what number any new player or non-roster invitee will don, shoot me a question in the comments and I’d be happy to answer it.

As I mentioned earlier, Gio Gonzalez will arrive at Space Coast Stadium tomorrow with the remaining pitchers and catchers who haven’t yet shown up to camp ahead of Tuesday’s report date.

Gonzalez’s teammates might have been surprised a couple weeks ago to hear the lefty’s name linked to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic that reportedly was dealing players performance-enhancing drugs, but it appears most of them have taken the hands-off approach when it comes to inquiring about Gonzalez’s mental state through this process.

“That kind of thing is so sensitive, you kind of have to give the player or person some space,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “If he comes out and starts talking to the media, I’ll probably extend some words to him. But I’m just gonna give him some space, let him breathe a little bit.

“I saw he’s pitching for Team USA (in the World Baseball Classic). That’s a great pickup for Joe Torre and those guys. I think he’s gonna do well. I’m excited for him, I’m rooting for him.”

Again, Gonzalez is scheduled to talk to reporters tomorrow, so we’ll be able to hear his take on being linked to Biogenesis and Tony Bosch, the clinic’s founder/director.

One of Gonzalez’s better friends on the team, Stephen Strasburg, also opted to give Gonzalez some space after hearing the reports linking him to Bosch and Biogenesis.

“I haven’t really (talked to him),” Strasburg said. “Obviously, I think everyone heard the news and I’m just focused on that. I guess I’ll see him tomorrow.”

As an organization, the Nationals haven’t offered any comment outside of a couple lines saying they are waiting for Major League Baseball to finish their investigation into the matter.

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