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Luis Atilano will likely miss next start

It is "unlikely" Luis Atilano will make his next scheduled Sunday after he felt tenderness in his arm following his subpar start last night, Manager Jim Riggleman said. The Nationals will make a final decision on Atilano tomorrow, but even if his health checks out, his ineffectiveness may force the Nationals to cull a different starter from their minor leagues.

"These last couple haven't indicated he's ready to make his next start," Riggleman said. "We've got to be open to anything."

The Nationals have several candidates who could start Sunday in Atilano's place, chief among them Matt Chico, who pitched for Class AAA Syracuse last night and would be on schedule, and John Lannan, who has made five starts for Class AA Harrisburg in a search to find his sinker.

Ross Detwiler, who has seemingly recovered from this spring's hip surgery, may also be a candidate even though he pitched a day game today for Class AA Harrisburg. He allowed five hits and a walk in seven shutout innings. In 32 2/3 innings at Harrisburg, Detwiler has a 2.48 ERA and a 4.43 strikeout/walk ratio.

In his past seven starts, not including a failed maintenance start for Syracuse, Atilano has a 6.49 ERA and shown symptoms of a tired arm, Riggleman said. Atilano has not undergone any medical tests such as an MRI, but his string of poor outings continued Tuesday night. Atilano allowed five earned runs in four after allowing a walk, a walk and a three-run homer to the first three batters of the game.

"I just got to keep working hard and find a way to get on top of my game," Atilano said last night.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 21, 2010; 5:54 PM ET
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My two favorites(leaning toward RD) would be Detwiler and Chico for the promotion. Atiliano appeared to me to just lose confidence in his pitching as much as anything.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | July 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, if a Nats' starter is performing badly, he MUST be hurt...

At this point, its tough to care who it is.

Posted by: CJArlington | July 21, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

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