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.
August 8, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories: Craig Stammen , Pitching rotation , Ross Detwiler
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