The Washington Nationals announced this morning that they were placing 31-year-old reliever Craig Stammen on the 15-Day DL with what was described in a press release as "right forearm stiffness." Stammen has thrown four scoreless innings in five appearances so far this season. He led all Nationals' relievers with a total of 72 ⅔ in 2014, posting a 3.84 ERA, a 3.19 FIP, 14 walks (1.73 BB/9) and 56 Ks (6.94 K/9) and as the middle reliever in the Nats' 'pen has thrown more innings out of the bullpen for Washington than any other reliever in each of the last three years (81⅔ in 2013, 88 ⅔ in 2012).
The Nationals called Taylor Jordan up from Triple-A Syracuse in the wake of the announcement on Stammen, bringing the 26-year-old right-hander back to the majors after he started the 2014 campaign in the rotation but struggled to an (0-3) start in five outings in which he put up a 5.61 ERA, a 4.50 FIP, eight walks (2.81 BB/9) and 17 Ks (5.96 K/9) in 25 ⅔ IP after a breakout campaign in 2013 which saw him work his way up from High-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg and eventually the majors where he went (1-3) in nine starts with a 3.66 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 11 walks (1.92 BB/9) and 29 Ks (5.05 K/9) in 51 ⅔ IP for the Nationals.
Jordan, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, had another procedure performed on the elbow in September to remove bone chips from his right elbow. He made one start for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs this season before he was called up today, throwing six scoreless innings for the Nats' top minor league affiliate on April 10th.
Will the Nationals use Jordan in the long relief role Stammen has filled? Does Tanner Roark slide into that spot? The Stammen injury is just the latest in a series of injuries the Nationals have dealt with early this season, with Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Denard Span all missing time at the start. Closer Drew Storen underwent surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone from his left (non-throwing) hand earlier this Spring, but this injury is the first big blow to the Nationals' bullpen if Stammen misses significant time.
Stammen said he hasn't had an MRI yet. Only stress tests & they were positive. He said he'd been pitching with the soreness since Sunday.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 15, 2015
Stammen felt his forearm stiffness a few days ago. Got a little better, tried to pitch through it. Will get an MRI soon, but is optimistic— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) April 15, 2015