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Updated: Fister likely to open season on DL with lat strain

Mar 27, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT

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Updated at 6:02 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Doug Fister, who already was trying to catch up to the rest of his rotation mates after losing three weeks to elbow inflammation, is now likely to open the season on the disabled list after departing a minor-league start Thursday after only one inning with a strain of his right lat muscle.

“It certainly is a setback,” manager Matt Williams said.

Fister was scheduled to throw 60-to-65 pitches in a minor-league game in Viera, then travel with pitching coach Steve McCatty to Port St. Lucie and join the rest of the Nationals on their charter flight home. But the right-hander told McCatty before taking the mound he had some tightness on his right side, then was pulled after a 15-pitch first inning.

“I [told Fister], ‘I really don’t want to do this, but if you feel something in there, is it something you can pitch through? I really would like to shut this off,'” McCatty said. “He shook his head and agreed. He felt a little tugging in there. So we stopped.”

Fister is scheduled to be examined Friday by team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih in Washington. The Nationals won’t know his status until after that exam, but the odds of the 30-year-old being able to begin the season on-time appear miniscule.

“We’ll see what the doc says,” Williams said. “It’s a little early to tell right now. But we’ll get the report tomorrow and see where we’re at.”

Even if the lat strain is deemed insignificant, Fister almost certainly wouldn’t have enough time to build his arm up to the point where he could pitch in a big-league game by April 6 (the first date the Nationals need to use a fifth starter).

After missing three weeks with the elbow inflammation, Fister had pitched only two innings in a minor-league game and then 3 2/3 innings against the Marlins on Saturday. He threw 47 pitches in that most-recent start and was scheduled to build up to 60-to-65 on Thursday. Even without the setback, he would have needed to make one more minor-league start in Florida on Tuesday, building his pitch count up to at least 80 before club officials would have been comfortable letting him pitch in a regular-season game.

“You’ve got to be cautious about something like this,” McCatty said. “He threw 15 pitches. He had 45 left. I was not going to let him attempt to get through it. If I told him he was alright to go, he probably would have went out there. You’ve got to be smart in those situations.”

Though the Nationals were counting on Fister — their biggest offseason acquisition — to help anchor their rotation entering the season, they are well-equipped to deal with his absence, at least on a short-term basis. Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan remained in big-league camp through Thursday’s finale, and both are scheduled to pitch in Saturday’s exhibition game at Nationals Park.

It now appears there will be room for both young right-handers to make the Opening Day rotation, with one starting the April 4 home opener against the Braves and the other starting two days later in the series finale against Atlanta.

The biggest reason the Nationals had waited to choose a No. 5 starter between Roark and Jordan was to make sure first that Fister would be ready to go. Turns out they were right to delay that decision.

“Well, yeah,” Williams said. “That, and they both earned the right to pitch. We’ll have to see. We’ll have to see how [Fister] feels tomorrow, what the doctor says, where we’re at. But right now we just know he couldn’t make it through his start today.”

115 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. langleyclub - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    How did Fister pitch this a.m.?

  2. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Is all that pitching and then flying and then pitching and flying and pitching a good idea? There’s no direct flights into MLB, so either he changes planes in ATL or he flies into Orlando and drives for an hour-plus. Either way, that’s a lot of sitting around. Still, if I had a chance to be introduced on Opening Day in NY, I suppose I wouldn’t mind.

  3. Danny - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Nationals tweet saying Fister has a lat strain. Will be evaluated in DC.

  4. Danny - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Kilgore confirms. Fister left in the first inning of his start. Unlikely to make his first start imo.

  5. philipd763 - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Spring training is over. I’ve seen most of the Nats home games in Space Coast and a couple on ESPN. I think the team is solid. My only concern is the closer situation. I am not sure Soriano is going to cut it this season. I expect Williams and Rizzo will give him a lot of rope because of his high salary but I would hate to see the season negatively impacted by this potential problem. I hope I am wrong, only time will tell.

  6. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    We can survive Fister missing a start (or two, or three). We need to make sure this doesn’t turn into Fister missing 10, 15 or 2.

    We could use Chris Young in AAA right about now. If someone else goes down, who do we call on?

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      make that 20

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Besides Jordan and Roark, there’s Det who can start out of the pen. Also Stammen if need be.

      I wonder how hurt Ohlendorf really is – my sense was that they were gaming the DL to clear space on the 40 man. If so, that could come back to bite them.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        But yeah – having Chris Young around would be nice.

      • bowdenball - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        I’m confused. We’re talking about the Chris Young who is 34 and hasn’t had a decent major league season since 2007 and had a FIP of 7.17 at AAA, right? That’s the guy you all really wish we had around?

        Why? We have at least three in house options who are much better, probably more.

      • kirbs3256 - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:43 AM

        uhhh…is this the same Chris Young that signed with Seattle.

        And this will let TJ and Roark figth for the 5 spot in the big show. But I guess this is going to cost them both an option if they open on the roster.

    • letswin3 - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Detweiler would be at least one other option to start, with several competent relievers in place to replace him in the bullpen. Det might be good for only 5-6 innings, or so, but I’m hopeful that we’re only talking about a start or two before Fister would be back in the mix.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Thinking the same thing. Rizzo cut him loose too soon. Big mistake as it turns out with Ohlendorf on the DL who is 1st up in AAA if Nats need a 6th starter before Fister is ready.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Detwiler. Then there are also Blake Treinen and AJ Cole.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        Treinen and Detwiler would both need to be stretched out.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        And there is also Sammy Solis.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        I don’t think Solis is ready for MLB starter.

      • thesmallpotatoes - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Trienen will be stretched out as will Solis. Det can start. Cole is almost ready. We will be fine. Every team has injuries and it’s important to build up the depth over a few week periods. We are fortunate to not have the Braves situation and it would be great if this is one of the worst situations we have (it won’t be).

  7. philipd763 - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    We have Roark and Jordan for #4 and #5 starters but that is risky.

    • langleyclub - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Well, looks like that is exactly what the Nats are going to go with. I’m OK with it as long as Fister returns to form by mid-April. If Fister’s injury lingers, and either of Roark or Jordan struggles are any other starting pitcher gets hurt, wonder if the Nats return Det to the rotation and bring up Gonzalez?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        They’ve got Ohlendorf on the 60-day DL, so he’s out.

    • Danny - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Roark and Jordan at 4-5 would be fine to start the year. Unless either completely falls apart, which is unlikely from what they have shown us.

      • langleyclub - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        I am reasonably confident in both in the short-term, but it would be unrealistic to think that the Nats can get 60 starts out of two pitchers with a total of 12 MLB starts. If Fister does not comeback healthy by the end of April, the Nats will need to consider other options.

    • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Why?

  8. NatsNut - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Because he was favoring his hurt elbow.

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Not likely. It’d be more likely that he hurt his elbow favoring a hurt lat than the other way around.

  9. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    I’m not worried about Soriano. You can’t really judge a closer on spring training outcomes. He seems healthy; if he is, he’ll be fine.

    I’m not so sure about Zimmerman, and Fister is starting to scare me. Visions of Brian Lawrence are dancing in my head.

  10. veejh - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lat strains can be a beatch. Mike Morse missed tons of games with a lat strain. This is not good.

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Morse missed 50 games, Strasburg missed 15. It’s really hard to predict and depends on the severity. Let’s just hope it’s on the small end of that.

      • veejh - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        ….and I think Morse’s may have been a tear, yes?

      • letswin3 - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        I thought those were “obliques”? But I don’t know the difference. Maybe someone can explain?

      • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        No, those were lats. Desmond missed time with the oblique in 2012. I think he missed around 30 games.

      • veejh - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        obliques connect the ribs, where the lat connects the arm to ribs….I think.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        latissiumus dorsi

        external obliques

        internal obliques

  11. jd - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    It’s disappointing news but we are still eons better off than the Braves with their pitching injuries. We are OK for now with Roark and Jordan and Det as a backup.

    I guess the next guy up would be AJ Cole or maybe Sammy Solis.

  12. Nattering Nat - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    I 85% believe this was a completely new injury Nats brass didn’t already know about. But only 85%. When I posted yesterday that one could speculate both JT and TR were being kept hanging until the last minute not just to see if Fister made it through today’s start, but also because “someone” was going to end up on the DL and both of them would make the final cut.

    I did not have in mind Fister would be the one DL’d.

    In any case, it was smart planning for management to have them both at the ready. The Nats have been blessed by good fortune, health-wise, this ST, so something was bound to happen.

    Given the length of Morse’s lat layoff, we gotta hope this will be of short duration. It should be different, since Morse reportedly got his injury in the weight room and may have done more damage than Fister suffered. But, we’ll see. Expect the unexpected–just ask the Braves.

  13. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    How fast things change in the headlines. Not good.

    • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      What changed in the headlines other than likely to start on the DL? Isn’t it obvious that injury or not that because he hasn’t put he over 60 pitches yet that he would be on the DL? If they do it to start the season he is able to be activated on April 10th. I think that is the obvious smart move. Why push it when you have to guys who have pitched well in spring training AND last season ready to step in.

      As for your mentioning of Detwiler and Treinen needing to be stretched out I wouldn’t be shocked if Det throws multiple innings on Saturday. Treinen is probably being stretched out in the minor league camp now anyhow.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        It was about Fister threw In Minor League Camp.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        Oh. I apologize. I did not see the original post then. The first thing I saw was the 3:30 revelation. Now I understand what you were saying.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        No problem. You can see the first few comments were on what appeared to be good news and the travel plans. Not sure if Mark deleted some of them as they would make no sense in the new context.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        And of course with the 3:30 revelation of course he goes to the DL. Earlier Mark detailed all the travel plans to further stretch Fister out in Florida on April 4th. Abruptly the original article has changed twice clearly based on the new news.

      • natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        There was strategic reasoning in not letting Fister pitch in another regular ST game after his start last Saturday. Since he has only pitched in a minor league game, the Nats can back date his DL start date to last Sunday if they think it’s minor.

        Obviously, that’s what I’m hoping.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        My understanding is you can only back date a DL stint for 5 days prior to the regular season opener.

      • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        Ten days. I’m doing this a lot in my other job. : You can back date to March 21.

      • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Except Fister pitched on March 22 (vs the Marlins). So he could be put on the DL retroactive to March 23. If that’s done, the earliest he could return would be April 8 (also against the Marlins).

        That doesn’t seem too likely to me. Even if he gets the “no structural issues” diagnosis from the docs, he’d have to spend a couple of weeks–at least–healing the strain, then go back to Florida to build up his arm strength, and then pitch in a rehab game or two. Bear in mind he only made 47 pitches on the 22nd, and you want him to build up to 80 or 90.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        My understanding is that players who start the season on the DL can only backdate their DL stint 5 days. That would be yesterday (Weds, 3/26).

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        Looks like I owe you one pdowdy!

      • natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        The White Sox announcers said it was up to 10 days from any actual ST game and that was why a lot of clubs tend to send questionable health guys to the back fields the last week. But everyone knows Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone aren’t always the best source of information. It probably is only 5.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        I most definitely trust MLB commentators, you, and NatsLady more than myself about these things!

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        NatsJack, remember the rule where you can only backdate 5 days in Spring Training. Earliest he could then pitch is April 10th.

  14. tcostant - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I need to tell myself this isn’t Brian Lawrence again. This isn’t Brian Lawrence again. This isn’t Brian Lawrence again. This isn’t Brian Lawrence again.

    It’s not working…

    • tcostant - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Why is no one talking me off the ledge?

    • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      come off the ledge

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      You should come off the ledge, at least until the weather is more spring-like.

      • ArVAFan - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Yes, if you’re outside on a ledge in DC now, you’ll catch your death of a cold. If you’re going to catch a cold, at least do it at Nats Park watching a game. Where, I expect, MLB-quality Nats will be ptiching. Not sure who, or in what order, but . . . . “you can never have too much pitching.” We don’t have too much pitching, but we might just have enough.

  15. thelatencn - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    The previous plan was to pitch both Roark and Jordan in the exhibition on Saturday. Will they now pitch only one, or neither?

    • tcostant - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      You could still pitch both on Saturday, their is four days rest before the first one is needed on Friday.

  16. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Rizzo makes a lot of smart moves but blew this one on many levels. Fister was rushed back too soon I believe. He also should have taken the cautious route and held on to Chris Young who was good pitching depth in the worst case while still being valuable trade bait.

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      He couldn’t hold onto Chris Young. Young had an opt out yesterday, I believe. He would have used it. Rizzo cut him loose a couple days early, but it really would not have made a difference.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        BS, he should’ve been the 5th starter like NatsJack suggested as he would’ve been fine and then you create extra depth.

      • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        I don’t want Young as the 5th starter then or now. I wouldn’t want him anywhere above AAA except in emergency. He’s not that good

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        We will see in Seattle I guess. He’s a flyball

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        If another veteran starter is needed for depth there are several still available that are just as adequate as Chris Young. Eric Bedard, Freddy Garcia, Tommy Hanson and Clayton Richard are available. While none are really that good I don’t see where Chris Young is that much better. There is also always the chance one can be acquired by trade if Fister turns out to be seriously injured. People need to step back from the ledge a bit.

      • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        Totally disagree and while I enjoy reading natsjack and you, I trust the men who do this for a living a little bit more

      • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        Talking to gonat there pdowdy, not you

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        I figured as much SJM. The negativity over here is why I do most of my commenting at the Nationals Arm Race blog. Small group of commenters but everyone seems to always have good input.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        David, when NatsJack made his wild prediction last week that CYoung would emerge as the 5th starter, what was your response to NatsJack?

        Did you say what you just said “I don’t want Young as the 5th starter then or now”

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Where Rizzo screwed up is putting Ohlendorf on the 60 day DL. He should’ve just cut Solano or Perez.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        What if Ohlendorf was really hurt?

    • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Gonat, that’s easy to see in hindsight. But bear in mind the trainers don’t know Fister all that well, and he kept insisting he would be fine. (He naturally has incentive to “prove” himself with his new team by not going on the DL in the first month). To keep Young would have meant putting Fister on the DL last week AND deciding between Roark and Jordan AND/OR not promoting Barrett. Yes, I’d like to have Young in reserve, of course, but you can’t keep everyone.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        Read what I wrote the day NatsJack suggested it. Also suggested by Ghost.

  17. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    I suspect in this case Ohlendorf is hurt, maybe not 60 days worth, but hurt, and Rizzo could have wrecked another pitcher by bringing HIM back too soon. Nevertheless, I do feel Perez might have cleared waivers. Doubt Solano would have.

    • jd - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      That’s OK I don’t want either Young or Ohlendorf in my rotation. Neither one of them is very good. I think if push comes to shove Detwiler is better than either of these guys and he ain’t great either.

  18. CN - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I do not think this is a doom & gloom situation. Yes, C Young is now w/ Seattle. Yes, Ohlendorff can’t pitch in a big league game until May 25 or so. But, Detwiler can always be stretched back out if Fister is out for an extended period of time and if there is another injury (knock on wood) to the current five starters.

    I am really curious if Strasburg will pitch game 5 (on regular rest), or if Roark and Jordan (presumably) will start games 4 & 5 before Strasburg’s second turn in the rotation.

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Given the off days, we may be able to limit the need for a 5th starter the first couple weeks. Doing that would be helpful.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        What’s the harm in going straight to a 5 man rotation with Roark and Jordan right out of the gates?

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Every time folks write “C Young” my brain inserts an extra “y.” And that makes me laugh.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        Me too!

    • Jb - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Given the off day Tuesday, game 5 is regular rest for Strasburg.

  19. sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    I am with Eric here on just letting the two kids pitch.

    I post less and less as people b*tch more and more

    I am a grumpy old man but I can’t believe how much angst there is here.

    Espinosa strikes out and there are 20 posts about how his season is doomed

    If you think Fister is the only player who will be injured this season you haven’t been watching baseball for long

    How can you blame Rizzo for this one gonat? We are known as a team that does a good job of looking after our pitchers. Read the Kilgore article and how McCatty shut him down.

    I think some people on here want this to be Utopia and we win 162 games with no hiccups and when one thing goes wrong people either jump ship, worry, whine or complain – just crazy – its baseball people

    I go with a straight 5 man rotation with our 2 young kids getting a few more days off because of the way the early schedule works. They had outstanding results last year and this spring, why all of a sudden are we treating them with kit gloves? They worked hard all last year and over the winter to play professional baseball, let them play.

    Fister will be back when he is ready but I guarantee you there will be other injuries before and after he gets back. I also guarantee you that Desmond will make an error or three, Zimm will have a couple bad throws, LaRoche might slump, and Soriano and Storen will each give up a run or two, etc etc. Go ahead and get it all out people but they will be just fine.

    • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Amen! +1

      It isn’t even opening day and people are going crazy. The whole point of baseball is for people to ENJOY it. Good things happen. Bad things happen. Injuries happen. Just look at the Braves and Rangers right now. They are missing 5 all-star talent level starters between the 2 teams and neither has as good of depth as the Nats right now.

    • Nattering Nat - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      +2

      One reason I almost never post here any longer is due to what you said in your second and third paras. Second-guessing is fine, part of the landscape. Intelligent disagreement is fine. Abject hand-wringing about stuff that is part of baseball, almost every team, every year, is counterproductive.

      This is unfortunate. But, jeez, the advance planning for this scenario seemed absolutely superb to me. Stuff happens. It’s how teams prepare for and deal with that stuff that often spells the difference between a successful or down the tubes season. I’m still incredibly upbeat–except for the darn SI prediction curse. May that actually be their April Fool’s issue.

    • unkyd59 - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      +1 Hear Him!!!

  20. pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    CN I saw it somewhere that Strasburg would start April 5th.

    DP you have to have a 5th starter on 4/6 but you are right in the fact that they can limit the number of starts they make if they want to.

    It should go

    3/31 – Strasburg
    4/2 – Gio
    4/3 – Jzimm
    4/4 – Roark/Jordan (whichever ends up in the “4th” slot)
    4/5 – Stras
    4/6 – Roark/Jordan (whichever ends up in the “5th” slot)
    4/8 – Gio
    4/9 – JZimm
    4/10 – Roark/Jordan
    4/11 – Stras
    4/12 – Roark/Jordan
    4/13 – Gio

    That would mean Strasburg would pitch against the Braves in both series with Gio pitching against them in 1 and the 4th and 5th starters going the other games.

    • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Nice list PDowdy and may I also compliment you for probably not ever writing anything but facts on here.

    • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      Plus, let’s face it, it’s going to rain some of those days, and the games will be postponed until August.

    • CN - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      I know Stras was initially penciled in for the Apr 5 start, but that was under the assumption that all went well w/ Fister’s rehab.

      Now that it appears it’s a forgone conclusion that Fister won’t be back until April 10 (at the earliest), why not go with a straight 5 man rotation to start the season?

      With two “rookie” pitchers, you can make the argument to throw the rotation out of wack to ensure Roark & Jordan only pitch when needed by utilizing the days off, but that, to me, seems just as silly as having Stras make his second start before a full turn in the rotation, now that there is certainty with the rotation.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        I would be more inclined to keep Stras, Gio and Zimmerman on as close to a regular schedule as possible. The scenario I laid out above keeps a regular 5 man rotation without really doing anything but pitching Strasburg on regular rest.

  21. sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    One last thing – never have so many posts been written about a UTILITY INFIELDER who struck out in a pretty bad at bat.

    If that is our Achilles heel this season (utility infielder who strikes out a bunch) I think we will be just fine.

    • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      The same one who cracked a solid double today, plus a walk and a single?

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        And has cut his career strike out rate by ~1/3 this spring training.

        I don’t trust him to sustain that rate yet, but near as I can tell it’s also totally unprecedented.

    • Jb - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Rendon’s K rate this spring is higher than Danny’s. Is he the utility infielder of which you speak?

  22. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I am seeing from Tigers fans on Twitter that Fister had a lat issue last spring and a couple other minor injuries during his career (plus, of course, getting hit on the head in the World Series)–and he obviously recovered. Pace yourselves, people. Stuff happens.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      [like]

  23. Jeff - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    This domino effect could even open the door to AJ Cole to Aaa?

    • Doc - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Now you’re talkin’!!!

      One guy’s injury, is another player’s opportunity!

  24. Doc - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Here we go again with The Curse of The 4th Starter!

    Rizzo might as well give it up!!!

  25. joemktg - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Do the Nats lead MLB in lat strains?

  26. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    They’re really handling this cautiously.

    Before Fister took the mound on a backfield in Viera, McCatty asked him how his elbow felt. Fister replied that he had developed tightness in his lat, a muscle that runs from arm pit to waist. It adducts a pitcher’s shoulder, making it of crucial importance. If Fister had felt the problem before, he had not mentioned it.

    Fister threw 15 pitches over one inning. Watching from behind the catcher, through a chain-link fence, McCatty observed nothing wrong. Fister’s sinker darted downward. His velocity seemed normal. But when McCatty asked Fister if the lat had loosened, Fister replied, “No.”

    “I said, ‘I really don’t want to do this, but if you feel something in there, I really would like to shut this off,’ ” McCatty said. “He shook his head and agreed. He felt a little tugging in there. So we stopped.”

    Assuming as always we’re getting all info, this makes me feel like this is largely precautionary and again highlights how well the Nats seem to handle their pitching staff.

    • sjm308 - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      not according to Gonat

  27. letswin3 - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Nuance. There are so many rules, strategies and tricks in this game. Date back further because of which team you played for. I love it. I’m not being facetious, I really love it.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      “Date back further because of which team you played for.”

      ???

  28. veejh - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Maybe this is old news, but we re-signed Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    put me in a bad mood. we may have depth to cover for him but come on!

  30. Joe Seamhead - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Have you all seen Miguel Cabrera’s new contract extension? Sick.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    292 million? That’s a lot of cocktails for Miguel Cabrera. Sick, I tell you. Sick.

  32. sunshinebobby - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    I was doing pretty well with all this until TCostant brought up the name “Brian Lawrence..”

    I now have a cocktail in my hand, my feet elevated, aspirin at the ready and an ice pack on my head.

    Ladies and gents, it’s WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too early for the bourbon and Maalox, right?

    Right? Right?

  33. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Forbes valuation of baseball teams.

    http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/#page:1_sort:0_direction:asc_search:

  34. habs3 - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    IMO The Nats knew that Fister was not going to be ready so they had to come up with a reason for going on the DL. They chose lat strain. I am betting the examination will come out as a minor strain

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Am I the only one who is seeing posts in a weird order?

    • Section 222 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      No.

      • Eric - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        No question: WordPress totally botched the nested comments

  36. Section 222 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    Spring training isn’t even over yet and… some posters are complaining about other posters and their style of comments or less than sunny dispositions. Pretty soon we’ll be hearing, “we got this.” I say, live and let live. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Make love not war. And I hope all those who say that they post less often because of how other posters act will come back and join the fun. Just ignore people you don’t like. It’s not that hard.

    I think there may be a 5 day limit all season long (not just in spring training) on retroactive placement of players on the DL:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/disabled_list

    I’d welcome seeing the actual rule. Can’t seem to find it online, but then again my internet research skills at 1 am are at less than full strength.

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      Oh, jeesh. I’m never going to hear the end of it…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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