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Mattheus day-to-day with rib inflammation

Feb 25, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

AP AP

VIERA, Fla. — An MRI on Ryan Mattheus’ upper right chest revealed inflammation of the cartilage connected to a rib, a relatively minor injury that should keep the Nationals reliever sidelined only a few more days.

Mattheus officially was diagnosed with costochondritis, a condition common to many people who injure themselves coughing but rare for an athlete to experience on the field of play.

Mattheus said he was sick a couple of weeks before the start of spring training but believes he hurt himself throwing a pitch during a bullpen session one week ago.

“The doctor said he sees a case of it pretty much every day, but not from athletes,” he said. “It’s usually somebody who has an upper respiratory infection, or something where they’re coughing a lot. But it’s basically the same thing. I just did it throwing.”

The 30-year-old right-hander said there’s no specific treatment for the condition, which simply requires rest to heal. He’ll attempt to gradually work back up to performing more physical activities until he’s confident he can’t cause any more damage.

“I think it’s going to be kind of day-to-day,” he said. “What can I handle without creating any setbacks? I guess it’s good news in the fact it’s going to get better and I didn’t break or tear anything. I just have to wait and see.”

  1. unkyd59 - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Snakebit….

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Some Interesting Numbers especially only two pre-arb players.

  3. scnatsfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Mattheus is a guy who has been forgotten after an excellent year. Any extended injury time this spring will push him far to the back of a long line.

  4. David Proctor - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    From Fangraphs chat on Taylor Jordan:

    “Over the last three years, Taylor Jordan has allowed seven home runs. He doesn’t walk anybody, he keeps the ball on the ground, and though his strikeout rate isn’t incredible, it’s acceptable and his big-league contact rate last year was actually 78% to go with low-90s velocity. Jordan is a pretty good and safe starting pitcher right now with years and years of cheap team control ahead of him. He never would’ve been highly rated because scouts look for upside. Jordan has a lower ceiling than a strikeout pitcher, but he also has a high floor and he could be anyone’s No. 4/No. 5 tomorrow from the looks of things. A concern is that he’s not going to strike out almost any lefties at all, but then for the league minimum you accept certain drawbacks”

    • natinalsgo - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      That’s a fair assessment of Taylor Jordan and for his supporters he is a very good groundball pitcher who is a command and control guy who is tough against righties and best results is when his infielders are making the plays behind him.

      He was supposed to work on his cutter over the winter but the broken ankle was a setback. The cutter was to neutralize lefty batters.

      Now Taylor will have to throw the slider and changeup as his main pitches against the lefties and stay on the edges with his fastball.

      He has enough in his arsenal to be good and like FanGraphs said to be 4/5. In this Rotation I’m not sure that’s good enough.

      I think Taylor would benefit from time in AAA to specifically work on getting his slider to a plus pitch as well as development of the cutter. By doing so, he raises his value to that of a 3.

      Last year against lefties they batted .444 on his Fourseam, .340 on his Sinker, .250 on his changeup and .000 on his slider.

      Problem is Taylor only threw 17 sliders to lefties last year out of 347 pitches to lefties in 2013.

      75% of those sliders put in play were groundballs and all were outs compared to 59% of his sinkers but small sample size on those sliders as there were only 17 but his changeup and slider could be used more if he doesn’t develop a cutter. The changeup induced 21% swing and miss against lefties and that’s effective for a needed K.

  5. tcostant - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    If anyone got shut out of opening days tickets, you get them directly from the Nationals here, with this link and password:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/was/ticketing/presale.jsp?loc=postpoints&partnerId=31JC4F031-4M

    password is “POINTS”

    • RPrecupjr - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Just tried, TC…no tix for Opening Day :/

      • tcostant - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        There was earlier…

  6. flnatsfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Lombardozzi is in the lineup for the Tigers today. He just doubled. I love the addition of Fister, but miss Lombo!

    • flnatsfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      And Robbie Ray was just inserted as the pitcher…

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