The Washington Nationals announced this morning that 30-year-old right-hander Doug Fister was scratched from his planned start in Grapefruit League action today with what is being described as right elbow inflammation.
Nationals' manager Matt Williams talked to reporters about the issue.
"[Fister] is not going to start for us today," Williams said. Tanner Roark will take the mound when the Nationals meet the Houston Astros at home in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium.
As for what's wrong with Fister?
"He's got a little inflammation in his elbow," Williams explained. "So we had an MRI taken of it yesterday and it shows a little inflammation in there, so we're going to push him a couple of days just to make sure, get it out of there. But it came back good, he's just got some inflammation."
Williams explained that neither the team nor Fister himself were especially worried about the developments.
"We're not concerned about it," Williams told reporters. "He feels like if [it was] in-season he could go. He could pitch. But we're not going to take any chances. So, we'll push him a couple of days, redo the pitching schedules and just make sure he feels good next time out."
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"We're going to see how he reacts and make sure he continues to gets treated and all of that."
The Nats' skipper wasn't ready to offer any information on when Fister might return to competitive action.
"No definite timetable at this point," he said, "but we're thinking about pushing him a couple of days back and just making sure that he feels good."
The issue came up after the 6'8'' righty made his first start of the spring for the Nationals, a two-inning outing against the Miami Marlins five days back.
"After his start he started feeling a little bit of discomfort," Williams explained. "A little tight in there. That's why we got the MRI, just to take a look and reports are good, but we're just going to err on the side of caution and make sure he's good."
Fister was acquired from the Detroit Tigers this winter after a +4.6 fWAR campaign with the Tigers in which he was (14-9) with a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 159 Ks (6.86 K/9) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 IP.