Nationals considering J.D. Martin's replacement
With J.D. Martin heading to the disabled list, the Nationals will need to find a starting pitcher for Friday at home against the Phillies. The starter, Manager Jim Riggleman said, will come from the Nationals' 40-man roster and be from one of two classes: either a current minor leaguer or a rehabbing starter.
Four minor league starters are currently on the 40-man: Matt Chico, John Lannan and Shairon Martins of Class AAA Syracuse and Aaron Thompson of Class AA Harrisburg. None of the four pitched Saturday or are scheduled to pitch today. Chico's schedule, because he pitched Friday night, aligns best. He has allowed three earned runs in his last three starts, a span of 21 innings.
Of the multitudes of rehabbing starters, only Scott Olsen appears to be a potential candidate. Jordan Zimmermann is nearing his scheduled return, sometime in the first half of August. The Nationals would be hesitant to move up his 2010 major league debut, even by a few days, in order to be cautious with the final stages of Zimmermann's recovery from Tommy John surgery. Jason Marquis said after his Friday rehab start for Class AA Harrisburg he needs at least one more rehab start.
That leaves Olsen, who threw five innings Thursday in a rehab start with Class A Potomac. Olsen will require one more rehab start, which would come Tuesday and not leave Olsen enough time to rest. Still, Olsen may try to convince the Nats he can return early.
"I'm seeing Olsen's schedule and it looks like he's not going to be here," Riggleman said. "But, I think Olsen would tell you he's ready to be here. So that's another name."
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