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With Yunesky Maya and Ross Detwiler in the fold, Nationals must sort out starters

Yunesky Maya and Ross Detwiler joined the Nationals today in Pittsburgh, their presence providing visual proof of the logjam of starters the Nationals have in the final month. They have not officially been added to the roster, but the Nationals will soon have to decide how to find room for the seven starters on their roster.

The Nationals will start Maya on Tuesday and have already moved Olsen to the bullpen for now, but they still plan to give Olsen another chance to start. The Nationals could use a "piggy-back" system on some days, planning to use one starter for the first five innings and then bringing in a second starter.

"It's possible," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "We may designate a guy where we're going to use two guys for sure. It's pretty good quality guys. It's not in any way conceding a ballgame by putting two guys out there if we do it."

Jordan Zimmermann will be limited to five or six innings because he is coming back from Tommy John surgery, so Riggleman would be more inclined to use two starters on a day he starts. With Livan Hernandez or John Lannan starting, Riggleman won't plan on using a second starter. He also said he prefers not to use a six-man rotation.

Maya will make his start Tuesday and be able to pitch for as long as his effectiveness allows. He threw more than 90 pitches in his final two preparatory minor league starts, going a combined 10 2/3 innings and allowing one earned run.

"It's a hard league in Triple A," Maya said. "You have veteran hitters. They're pretty selective. I faced pretty tough hitters, but I felt pretty good. My arm is 100 percent."

Detwiler, recovering from soreness in the right hip he underwent surgery on in spring training, last pitched Thursday in Class AAA Syracuse. Now fully healthy, Detwiler allowed one earned run on five hits and a walk in five innings. The Nationals have not decided when Detwiler will next pitch.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 5, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
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Using the 'piggy-back' concept would make the most sense to me - Pair up a LH with a RH, say JZim with Detwiler, and Maya with maybe Olsen, or Chico. If the lead SP gets in trouble, have the bullpen close the inning. That way, you make sure the 2nd starter gets clean innings.

Livo, Lannan, and Marquis don't have pitch or inning limits, so they rely on the regular bullpen for backup. With 15+ pitchers on the roster, it's time for "spring training in September" for some of these guys.

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

FWIW regarding Detweiler, I would like to see them shut him down for the season. Let him rest, get him on a strength and conditioning program and have him ready for spring training. I think he could be an effective 3rd starter.

Posted by: TimDz | September 5, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Next season:


I don't think Detwiler is going to be a starter on this club in 2011, at least not on opening day.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | September 6, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

. I think he could be an effective 3rd starter.
Posted by: TimDz.....
Detwiler has shown nothing up to now..that he can be effective at the major league level....

Let the new Cuban pitch...we've all seen MORE THAN ENOUGH of the other starters.....

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | September 6, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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