The news that hard-working reliever Craig Stammen was being placed on the 15-Day DL came as a surprise. Nats' skipper Matt Williams explained the circumstances surrounding the decision to place Stammen on the Disabled List before Wednesday's series finale with the Boston Red Sox.
"Yesterday he came in to pitch and felt it," Williams said.
"So, after yesterday's game we decided that we'd go ahead and make that move and shut him down for 15 days and get him back tomorrow, see the doctor and get some tests and see what's going on."
"You know, he's never been on the DL before. I know that he feels better today. So we'll get some test tomorrow and get a good look at it and see what's going on."
"I won't know anything until we talk to the doctor and take some pictures of it and see. He never lets us know that anything is wrong with him because he's always feeling good. So when he does say, 'Hey, I'm sore,' we have to be concerned about that. So that's why we're putting him on the DL."
Stammen saw a doctor today, and the news wasn't good. The diagnosis is a torn flexor tendon:
#Nats skipper Matt Williams says Craig Stamen had an MRI and it revealed Stammen has a torn flexor muscle which will require surgery.— Craig Heist (@cheistsports) April 16, 2015
Craig Stammen has a torn right flexor tendon, per Matt Williams. He will have surgery. Presumably out for the rest of the year.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 16, 2015
Since 2012, when he was transitioned to a relief role full-time, Stammen has thrown more innings than any reliever in the majors, logging a total of 246 ⅔ IP over the last three-plus seasons.
"Unfortunately we got the results today which revealed a torn flexor. He’s going to require surgery...
"It’s never good news, but knowing him he will rehab as quick as he can and as hard as he can. He’ll be back at some point, we just don’t know the timeframe yet."
The Nationals called right-hander Rafael Martin up earlier this week, and they have Tanner Roark in the bullpen, who could presumably take over in Stammen's role. No word on the Nationals' plans for the bullpen in the immediate aftermath of the news on Stammen.
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo did, however, say that the diagnosis came as a surprise:
Mike Rizzo said Nats were little surprised by severity of Stammen's injury. Describes him as guy who wouldn't tell you how bad he's hurting— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) April 16, 2015