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The status of the rehabbing Nationals starters

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo offered a torrent of updates on the host of Nationals starters currently pitching in the minor leagues. He cautioned that the status of all the rehabbing starters - Ross Detwiler, Scott Olsen, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann and Chien-Ming Wang - is murky. "There's absolutely no certainty," he said.

With that in mind, Rizzo estimated that Detwiler, Olsen and Marquis will be the first pitchers to come back to Washington. Here are updates on the Nationals pitchers trying to get back to the majors:

Detwiler: In Class AA Harrisburg, Detwiler is still trying to find comfort with his surgically repaired hip. He allowed earned one run in five innings Friday, hitting 93 mph with his fastball; he's touched 94 past starts. His mission, seven starts into his rehab, is to "get his game back in line to kind of knock off some rust," Rizzo said.

"He's pitching well," Rizzo said. "His velocity is creeping up there. We're trying to get him to the point where he's throwing more consistent quality strikes. That'll give us an indication that he's using his lower body in his delivery. That's the important thing to look for."

Olsen: He'll make his third rehab start tonight at Class A Hagerstown. He's scheduled for four innings and/or 65 pitches. While Olsen is coming along, there is no set timetable for his return to the major leagues. "He's still rehabbing, so we'll see where that takes him," Rizzo said. "He should not be too far away."

Olsen answered a few questions for the Suns' official site.

Marquis: Some significant progress here - on Sunday for the Gulf Coast League affiliate, he'll make his first rehab start since the surgery he underwent in May to remove bone chips from his right elbow. He's down to pitch three innings.

Zimmermann: He'll continue his sterling rehab in the coming days in Class A Potomac by throwing 80 pitches. Zimmermann is targeted to return during the first half of August, but his rapid progress may not fully determine his 2010 debut date. "He's ahead of schedule, but we're going to keep him on my schedule. He's too important of a cog to rush. I'm a big believer in giving that full calendar year," Rozzo said. Once Zimmermann comes to the Nationals, he'll still have some restrictions in terms of pitch counts and innings limits.

Lannan: Expect him back in Washington by the end of the season. Tonight, Lannan will make his fifth start since the Nationals demoted him to Class AA Harrisburg. Lannan is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his first four starts. While Rizzo still sees work to be done, he gave Lannan an emphatic vote of confidence.

"John is going to be a big league pitcher," Rizzo said. John's a major league pitcher. He's a go-to guy for us. He's down there to get himself straightened out. I've got a lot of confidence in him that's he's going to be a good, productive major league starter for a long time."

A couple more notes from Rizzo:

-- Rizzo had "no concern" about Luis Atilano's rocky start Thursday night Class AAA Syracuse and there is no question as to whether he'll start Tuesday in Cincinnati.

-- Rizzo had no updates on the Adam Dunn front. "If there was," he said, "I wouldn't tell you." Asked in a general sense why the sides have not come to an agreement despite an apparent willingness by both parties, Rizzo made a slashing motion with his hand in front of his chest. I believe that's the international sign for, "Stop asking me about Adam Dunn, because I'm not answering."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 17, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  Pitching rotation , minors & farm system  
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Next: Ian Desmond, Adam Kennedy, Cristian Guzman will rotate in Nationals infield

Comments

He's missing a pitcher? What about Nathaniel Karns formerly of Texas Tech, UNC and Martin High School?

Nathan Karns RHP Coppell Copperheads R-R 6-3 235 SIGNED/Nationals

SCOUTING REPORT: Karns had clearly the best raw stuff in the TCL, pitching in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball and touching 94-95. His hard-breaking curveball was a plus pitch at times and, more importantly, Karns showed confidence in throwing the pitch for strikes. He also showed some feel for a changeup while going 4-0, 1.20 with 47 strikeouts in 30 innings. His improved consistency and confidence this summer was the primary reason the Washington Nationals ended up offering Karns a $225.000 signing bonus as a 12th-round draft pick, an offer the big righthander accepted at the signing deadline. Karns’ ability has been well known to scouts dating back to his high-school days, when he was a 10th-round pick of the Houston Astros despite a college commitment to Texas. He never ended up pitching for the Longhorns and spent his first season at North Carolina State (3-2, 2.67) before transferring back home to Texas Tech and enduring two largely-unsuccessful seasons (3-6, 8.46 in 2008; 4-5, 5.47 last spring) while struggling with his delivery and command.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Re: Zmann. Not sure Rizzo knows what a calendar year is. Hope not otherwise we're not seeing him in August.

Posted by: marathoner | July 17, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

What about Chien-ming Wang? He was originally going to be back in mid-May. I bet we never see him.

Posted by: wartown1 | July 18, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Another great job by the Nats trainers..."You should sign Wang, we'll have him by May..."

Posted by: CJArlington | July 18, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Peric - are you Karns' official internet stalker or something?? You've asked about him on just about every Nationals forum in existence on the internet!

Here's an idea - email them directly and ask them. Much easier - and you might be able to give something back by providing info that even the 'official' bloggers don't have. Like a scoop!

Posted by: Barney001 | July 18, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Ok is to make sure we continue our losing ways by keeping guys rehabbing on his schedule even though they may be ready? This team sucks, this is what's destroying baseball in the nations capitol...we get good pitching can't get hits, we get hits can't get good pitching and in both cases most times can't score runs either. Just the another night Knight and Carpenter were saying the guys at the top need to get on more so when the so called big 3 come up they can do damage...well i've seen them get on in this series and the big 3 have been the big flop.

Posted by: papaskynz | July 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

fwiw: capitol = the building, capital = the district.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 18, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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