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Could Jason Marquis fill in for John Lannan?

The Nationals need a starter for Saturday to fill in for John Lannan, who will skip at least one start. Jason Marquis, currently on the disabled list, has his choice for the job: himself.

"I would to," Marquis said. "I'm ready to go."

Let's get this out of the way: It probably ain't happening. J.D. Martin is the best bet to pitch for Lannan on Saturday. But Marquis threw 40 pitches at full effort today in the bullpen, testing out his cutter, sinker and change-up. Marquis felt no limitations while pitching and afterward he felt no soreness.

When the Nationals placed Marquis on the disabled list April 21, their expectation was Marquis would return in roughly six weeks. Marquis has pushed himself with a far earlier deadline in mind, that deadline being "as soon as possible." And so two weeks after the six-week plan was announced, Marquis wants back on the mound.

"I know Jason Marquis's body better than anybody else," Marquis said. "I know what I have to do to be prepared to get ready. It's going to have to have to happen some time, right?"

Will the Nationals let that happen? Don't count on it. Yesterday, General Manager Mike Rizzo quipped: "Jason thinks he's ahead of schedule. I don't know what medical school he went to." Today, Manager Jim Riggleman said about Marquis pitching Saturday: "That's just not the way we're going to do it."

Still, it seems Marquis will return faster than the prescribed six weeks. Marquis believes he does not need a rehab start, but Riggleman said it's likely he will pitch one.

"I'm physically ready," Marquis said. "I'm mentally ready. It's down to see what he want to do."

As for who'll pitch in Lannan's place, Rizzo and Riggleman spoke today about their options for Friday's start. The Nationals considered using one of their relievers as a spot starter - surely Miguel Batista - but because the Nationals are carrying just six relievers, they will likely call up a pitcher from the minor leagues.

The Nationals aren't going to announce anything, but the likeliest candidate is bringing up Martin, who would be pitching on six days' rest, from Class AAA Syracuse. Martin was one of the final pitchers vying for the fifth starter position in spring training. In four starts, Martin has a 3.97 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Riggleman said he expects Lannan to return to the mound May 13 at Colorado.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 5, 2010; 6:29 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Marquis , John Lannan , Pitching rotation  
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Next: Sean Burnett could be the seventh-inning solution


I'm confused -- are we talking about Friday night or Saturday night? Both are referenced here. Not to be nit-picky, but I have tix for the Friday night game, and with the Marlins and their right-handed lineup (see Lannan last Sunday), I am interested in the distinction! Maybe worth going with a rightie...

Also, as of tonight, Friday night is possible rain, which would make it even more of a shame to burn out a starter.

Posted by: mo_dc | May 6, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Saturday is the game they're talking about, mo. It appears Stammen is in line for Friday. Have fun at the park!

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 6, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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