Aug 4, 2010, 5:08 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Craig Stammen starts tonight, but what happens after that?
PHOENIX — Yesterday's affirmation by the Nationals that Stephen Strasburg — barring any setbacks — is scheduled to return from the disabled list Tuesday is good news for everybody who works or roots for the Nationals. Well, everybody not named Craig Stammen.
You see, it's Stammen who would otherwise be lined up to start Tuesday against the Marlins. But if Strasburg's ready to go that day, Stammen obviously gets bumped. It wouldn't matter if Craig throws a no-hitter tonight against the Diamondbacks. Nobody bumps Strasburg.
Which isn't to say Stammen is guaranteed to lose a spot in the rotation. Certainly, he's pitched well enough at times to deserve more opportunities; he's got a 2.60 ERA over his last three starts. But something's got to give when Strasburg returns, and that's only going to force the first of several tough decisions for Jim Riggleman, Mike Rizzo and Steve McCatty in the next couple of weeks as some high-profile starters return (or, in one case, arrive).
Jason Marquis is healthy again and ready to come off the DL. Jordan Zimmermann probably is ready, too, but the Nats are going to stick with the cautious route and have him make at least three and possibly four starts at Class AAA Syracuse before bringing him back. AndRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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