Pregame notes on Clippard, Dunn, Marquis
With Tyler Clippard's dominance early this season, Jim Riggleman has started taking questions about whether he might become a starter again. This morning, of those questions came from a particularly close source.
"That was my brother actually," Riggleman said. "Trying to give me some advice. 'Why don't you start Clippard?' I said, 'Why don't you go sell some more copiers.' "
In a more serious vein, Riggleman explained that Clippard is too valuable as a reliever to shift to a starter.
"I'm not sure what took place that brought on the decision that he was going to go to the bullpen," Riggleman said. "But right now he'd be very hard to replace in the bullpen. You'd be kind of filling a hole but creating a hole also. I think we're going to leave him alone there for the time being."
Clippard has basically become the Nationals' set-up man, capable of pitching both the seventh and eighth inning. "Right now, that's what we want to use him as," Riggleman said. "He kind of gravitated toward that last year. He's really done a heck of a job."
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The Nationals considered adding an extra player for today only, a luxury they had because Jason Marquis is on the disabled list and Luis Atilano has not officially joined the 25-man roster.
"I guess it would have been a consideration," Riggleman said. "But we'll make do with one short."
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I heard again that there are "no conversations" between Adam Dunn and the Nationals regarding a contract extension at the moment. These things can sometimes heat up quickly, but for now the chances of the sides coming together are looking pretty slim.
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Jason Marquis is in Cincinnati right now receiving a second opinion on his right elbow from Dr. Tim Kremcheck.
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