Ross Detwiler was eligible to return from the DL on July 19th. Washington's '07 1st Round pick was placed on the DL on July 7th, retroactive to July 4th, a day after the 27-year-old left-hander's 13th start of the season. It's Detwiler's second DL stint this season. He missed time earlier this summer with a strain of his right oblique. After he returned, he had a 6.31 ERA over 25 2/3 IP in which opposing hitters put up a .330/.368/.486 line, leaving him with a 4.04 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 14 walks (1.77 BB/9) and 39 Ks (4.92 K/9) in 71 1/3 IP in 2013 in which opponents have posted a .315/.356/.455 line.
Johnson told reporters last week, however, that Detwiler had a setback and wouldn't return to the rotation as the Nationals had expected when they placed him on the DL before the All-Star Break. "I thought coming out of the break [Ross Detwiler] would be in the rotation," Johnson said, "This is kind of a tough pill to swallow."
A bullpen session was cut short when his back didn't feel right, and Johnson said the lefty was going to Los Angeles to see a specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins, Sr., to get another opinion on what may be causing the continuing issues with his lower back. After the Nationals lost their sixth straight game Wednesday night in another disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Davey Johnson told reporters he'd heard the news Detwiler received from Dr. Watkins.
"We got a report on [Ross Detwiler]," the manager said, "He's going to be down for about a month. He's got a little disc problem." Asked for any specifics, the Nats' 70-year-old skipper said that it wasn't a problem that would require surgery, but, "It's causing the pinching of the nerve. It causes that to spasm. I think the procedure is to give him an injection. But he's got to rest it."
With Detwiler out another month and Taylor Jordan limited to another 20-30 innings as Johnson told reporters on Wednesday, the Nationals have some questions going forward in the back of their rotation. When they've talked about problems with their four and five starters in the past, Ross Ohlendorf and Nathan Karns have been mentioned as options, no official word on what the plan is, though Ohlendorf will start the second game of the Nats' doubleheader with the New York Mets on Friday night.
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