Jul 16, 2010, 9:52 PM EDT
MIAMI — When the Nationals optioned Luis Atilano to Class AAA Syracuse last weekend, the club made it clear the demotion would only be temporary and that the right-hander would rejoin the rotation to serve as the No. 5 starter out of the All-Star break.
"He didn't have a good night," Jim Riggleman said today. "He just didn't get his ball sinking, get the groundballs on hittable pitches. Hopefully it's just an aberration that he didn't have a good day there. But it's challenging. Double-A, Triple-A hitters, they're trying to get you. They got him. But we're confident the games he gave us here are more of indication of what he can do for us."
It wasn't as though Atilano was dominating big-league hitters before the demotion. Over his last five starts, he went 1-3 with a 5.96 ERA. So is Atilano still a lock to start Tuesday in Cincinnati?
"Unless I hear different, that's our plan," Riggleman said. "Our plan is that he's going to join us Tuesday. We need a starter Tuesday. That's why we sent him down there to pitch [yesterday], so he'd be readyRead more »
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