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Ross Detwiler to disabled list, Craig Stammen to bullpen

The Nationals cleared the way for the addition of Jason Marquis and Stephen Strasburg to their starting rotation by sending Ross Detwiler to the 15-day disabled list and Craig Stammen to the bullpen.

After making his first three starts of the season, Detwiler experienced after effects from the hip surgery he underwent this spring that kept him out of the majors for the season's first four months. Detwiler theorized after his start Thursday he might not be finishing his pitches because he was subconsciously worrying about his hip, but he said he did not feel any pain in on the field during the start.

But soreness surfaced the next day. Since the pain has not gone away, the Nationals ordered Detwiler to cease baseball activities. He will undergo an MRI exam Monday morning after flying back to Washington with the team Sunday night. The test will determine the severity of Detwiler's setback and whether he will be able to return this year.

"Just hoping it's scar tissue," Detwiler said.

Stammen has actually spent the last three games in the bullpen as an emergency long reliever, and the Nationals have decided to make him a part of the bullpen permanently, at least for this season. With the glut of starts set to join the Nationals' rotation - including Cuban free agent Yunesky Maya and Jordan Zimmermann by early September - the Nationals decided Stammen had to go to the bullpen.

In his last four starts, Stammen has a 2.38 ERA with 20 strikeouts and nine walks. After a rocky start to the year based in part on rotten luck, Stammen has seemingly been solidifying his role in the rotation.

"It's disappointing in that aspect," Stammen said. "It doesn't really bother me. It's not like it's a demotion."

The move to the bullpen speaks to Stammen's place in the organization. With their opening day starter (John Lannan), a high-priced free agent (Marquis) a high-profile international signing (Maya) and two high draft picks (Strasburg and Zimmermann) about to join the rotation, the Nats no had a spot for Stammen.

"I'm just Craig, a little old 12th rounder," Stammen said. "It'll be alright. Whatever they want me to do is what I'll do. Start, come out of the bullpen, clean the balls off."

Stammen has relieved before in the minor leagues, and he left Dayton as the school's all-time saves leader after closing for his two seasons in college. "It fits my personality," Stammen said.

Stammen will also be available should a National starter need to be scratched. "If Strasburg decides not to pitch again, maybe I can do that," Stammen said jokingly.

Starting Sunday, the Nationals will align their rotation this order: Marquis, Strasburg, Scott Olsen, Livan Hernandez and Lannan.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 8, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Craig Stammen , Pitching rotation , Ross Detwiler  
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Next: Game 112 discussion thread: Nationals at Dodgers

Comments

"The Nats no had a spot for Stammen."

Adam, I didn't know you were Italian...

Posted by: swanni | August 8, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd bet that Zimmermann will take Strasburg's spot, probably on Sept 1. But where will Maya step in?

Posted by: swanni | August 8, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Of our 5 current starters the only one you can expect to still be pitching at the end of the year is Livo. The others might but have bigger odds of being replaced or being on the DL. Stammen has not made his last start this season.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 8, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

My concern about Stammen as a reliever comes from his penchant for rocky first innings. His sinker seems to do better after many pitches. Maybe it requires him to throw more warm up pitches to keep the ball down from the first pitch?

Posted by: mo_dc | August 8, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@swanni:
Good question - Strasburg has 40+IP left before he hits his shutdown number; That's six starts (+/-), and could run him to early-mid September. JZimm & Maya will both likely be available about then, if not before.
With the possible 'glut' of starting pitchers available in September, maybe the team goes to the 'Starter/2nd starter' model they use in the minors. Pitchers who are called up, but haven't been stretched out (JZimm, Maya) are paired with another SP (Lannan, Chico, Martis, etc.) to throw as many full innings as possible. The bullpen would be there to finish up partial innings, and hold/save opportunities late in the game.

Just a thought.

Posted by: BinM | August 8, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

what about Chi-Ming Wang?

Posted by: tramellcanady | August 8, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

BinM - remember they said Strasburg's work during his DL stint would count as part of his 'innings goal' so his limit could be closer than you think.

Posted by: swanni | August 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@swanni:
Understood; So Strasburg loses a start or two & finishes in late Aug - early Sept instead. Between the DL activations and available minor-league callups, there are still more than enough SP-level arms (Chico, Detwiler, Livo, Lannan, Marquis, Martis, Maya, Olsen, Stammen, JZimm) to get the team through the last month of the season, imo, even if they have to 'double-up' on some starts, as I suggested. earlier.

Posted by: BinM | August 8, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Not expected back this year, now (and don't count on next year, either).
Well, he was always a longshot.
*********************
what about Chi-Ming Wang?
Posted by: tramellcanady | August 8, 2010 4:03 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 8, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"It's not like it's a demotion."--Craig Stammen.

Wow. This guy is even dumber than I thought he was.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | August 8, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

So, this 'glut' of pitchers would be tantamount to a large Hefty bag full of cow pies?

Posted by: BoteMan | August 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Marquis, Strasburg, Scott Olsen, Livan Hernandez and Lannan.

Take Strasburg out of that line-up and just replace the rest w/Manny, Moe, and Jack or Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp!

John "soft tosser" Lannen, Jason "the 15M man who can't get a guy out in the first inning" Marquis, Livo "the second coming of Harry Houdini" Hernandez and Scott "I'm not crazy" Olsen. You just can't make this stuff up!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 9, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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