After 3 1/3 innings of work on Saturday, Dan Haren left the mound with the Washington Nationals down 6-0 to the visiting Colorado Rockies. Nats' skipper Davey Johnson said after the loss that he wanted to talk to Haren about what was going on with the right-hander before making any decisions. After meeting with the pitcher today, the manager and the Nationals announced that they were going to place Haren on the disabled list.
"They wanted me to take some time to get 100%," Dan Haren told reporters this afternoon, after it was annouced that the 32-year-old right-hander would sit with what Johnson described in an interview with Nationals radio voice Charlie Slowes as "shoulder weakness" in the pitcher's right shoulder. "But definitely don't want to use this as an excuse for the first three months of the season," Haren said, "because that was more due to lack of execution than injury, that's for sure."
"Dan Haren is going on the disabled list," Davey Johnson confirmed when he talked to reporters after the Nationals' 7-6 loss to the Rockies on Sunday afternoon. "He had some trouble getting loose and I talked to him and also [Nationals' GM] Mike Rizzo and we felt, better to let him rest it up, take some medication. He had a little similar problem last year, it was his back, that he went on the disabled list. His back, he said, is fine. And he's a gamer. Wasn't particularly pleased to be going on the disabled list. But knew that it was probably the best thing."
That DL stint in 2012, the first of Haren's 10-year career, came after the All-Star break. Haren was (6-8) for the Los Angeles Angels in the first half of the 2012 campaign, with a 4.86 ERA (up over a career 3.66 mark), 24 walks (2.08 BB/9) and 86 Ks (7.47 K/9) in 17 starts and 103.2 IP which saw opposing hitters put up a .297/.333/.484 line. Haren came back from a post-break trip to the DL and posted a 3.58 ERA with 14 walks (1.72 BB/9) and 56 Ks (6.90 K/9) over his last 13 starts and 73.0 IP, holding opponents to a .243/.282/.432 line over that stretch.
After Sunday's game, Davey Johnson further explained the decision to put Haren on the DL for the second time in his career after the right-hander has gone (4-9) with a 6.15 ERA, 5.08 FIP, 2.09 HR/9, 1.43 BB/9 and 7.35 K/9 in his first 15 starts and 82.0 IP with Washington. "The last two times he had trouble getting loose and that could be the sign of a tired arm or whatever..." Johnson said. "We're not going to take any chances. We just want him to be healthy and then finish up the way he did last year."
Asked if the Nationals might look to the trade market for a starter with the non-waiver deadline just a few weeks away, Johnson said, "I don't think so. We've got a couple guys we're really high on that we might give an opportunity up here. There's also the opportunity to use [Ross] Ohlendorf in that role, but don't really want to put a younger pitcher in the bullpen and put him in a long relief role." As Johnson told Charlie Slowes before today's game, "We've got some interesting young arms in the minor leagues," though he chose not to name any names.
Detwiler's Rough Outing: The Nationals fell behind early again this afternoon in Nats Park, with Ross Detwiler giving up nine hits and seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work before he was lifted in favor of right-handed reliever Craig Stammen. The Rockies hit two home runs off Detwiler, who'd surrendered just three all season before today's start, but otherwise singled the left-handed sinkerballer to death. "Couple hard hit balls and they were just kind of putting the bat on the ball and they were falling in today," Detwiler told reporters after the Nationals' loss.
"I mean, they didn't hit the ball that hard today. There [were] two hard-hit balls. And everything else just fell in. You saw it when Stammen came up. He threw a good 0-2 pitch, broke a guy's bat, two RBIs. It's one of those days. Maybe look at a guy like [Ian] Krol that strikes everybody out. Maybe I should start doing that."
"Basically, he's a sinker ball pitcher," Davey Johnson said in discussing Detwiler's start. "He's still very young, learning how to use all his weapons in his arsenal. Today, he didn't feel like he had a good sinker, could locate it real good, so he threw more changeups. But it's sequence pitching, he's been relying since he's been here, basically, on his fastball. And that was a good fastball hitting club and if you don't hit your spots, sinkers down and away, they're going to hurt you. First [home run] ball he gave up was to [Michael] Cuddyer was a four-seamer out over the plate and he got pretty much of it. But, that's a good fastball-hittin' club, but you have to set up pitches and he's still early in doing that."
Asked if he agreed with Johnson's assessment that it was about sequencing, Detwiler offered a simple, "No," in response.
Werth Update: In addition to losing the game, falling a game under .500 at (37-38) and getting another rough outing from their starter, the Nationals also had Jayson Werth leave the game after his second hit in two at bats in the fourth with what was later said to be a groin pull. "Earlier in the ballgame when he went for a ball down the right field corner, he said he pulled his left groin, and then when he was coming out of the box he tweaked it again and so I don't know if it was -- it looked like he was messing with his, I thought it was his right groin, but that's all I needed, for him to be running out there, I didn't want to lose him, but didn't want him to pull something worse."
"He was examined by Dr. Wiemi [Douoguih]. And the report I heard during the game was that it was a groin pull."
Asked about a possible DL stint, Johnson said, "I don't know."
• Nats Nightly For Sunday June 23rd: