There was some concern that Ross Detwiler would be unable to make tonight's start after a back issue bothered him following his last outing, but as Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo assured listeners this morning on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s "The Mike Rizzo Show" with Danny Rouhier and Grant Paulsen, the Nats' 27-year-old lefty is good to go in the third game of four with the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. "Det's going to make his start tonight," Rizzo said. "He had just a little knot in his back there for a while, was nothing serious. He threw a good bullpen and a side session and he's ready to pitch." Detwiler will take the mound tonight at 6:05 pm EDT when the Nats and Brewers go at it again.
As for the Nationals' other injured starter, Dan Haren, Rizzo said that the 32-year-old right-hander is doing well following some rest and a cortisone shot in his shoulder after he went on the DL. "Dan's feeling good," the Nats' GM said. "The cortisone shot, I think, helped him a lot. I think that he wasn't feeling even really as good as he thought and he mentioned that after his last side session and bullpen. He threw the ball extremely well and felt good. So, it's too early to make a prognosis of when he'll be back, but he's going to throw a simulated game today and we'll evaluate him after that and see where he has to go if he has to make a rehab start or what his schedule will be after the day."
Reports from Nationals Park today say that Haren's side session went well:
All parties involved seem very pleased about way Dan Haren's sim game went. All goes well, should slot back into #nats rotation around 7/9— Amanda Comak (@acomak) July 3, 2013
Dan Haren could return to #Nats rotation next Tuesday, assuming all goes well in next few days.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 3, 2013
Dan Haren worked on a new splitter, meant to create a bigger velocity differential. "That stuff right there will play," Tracy says.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 3, 2013
Haren reportedly threw 65-70 pitches to a few of his teammates and came away from the session happy:
Haren threw 65-70 pitches today in sim game. "My arm feels like it's moving faster."— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) July 3, 2013
24-year-old right-hander Taylor Jordan will start in Haren's place again tomorrow, but after that it's unclear if he'll get another outing before Haren is able to return. The veteran starter told reporters recently that he had little interest in a rehab stint with a minor league affiliate.
And one more thing: Davey Johnson apparently had some comments today about Nats' second baseman Danny Espinosa, who is currently trying to find his swing in Triple-A Syracuse. After 19 games and 72 plate appearances, however, the switch-hitting infielder is just 6 for 64 with 33 strikeouts. 33. Asked about the 26-year-old second baseman who was expected to be a big part of the Nats' defense of their NL East crown even after he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Johnson had this to say:
Davey was asked about Danny Espinosa's struggles. "I think he has a misguided approach that it's OK to hit .220 with 20 home runs."— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 3, 2013
Harsh, but probably not inaccurate. Davey Johnson trying some tough love?