WASHINGTON — Davey Johnson will have to wait a while longer before he can restore his preferred Washington Nationals pitching rotation.
The manager said Saturday that Ross Detwiler didn’t complete a full bullpen session and will miss at least two more starts while dealing with a lower back strain.
“The tough thing is, coming out of the break I thought Det would be in the rotation,” Johnson said. “This is kind of a tough pill to swallow. He couldn’t throw a ‘pen yesterday, and today wasn’t a great one. We need to get him well.”
Johnson had set his rotation out of the All-Star break anticipating Detwiler would return from the 15-day disabled list in time to start Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead, rookie Double-A call-up Taylor Jordan (0-2) will remain with the club and hold Detwiler’s spot. Washington will also need a fill-in starter for Friday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets.
Johnson said “nothing so far has worked” in the efforts to treat Detwiler’s back. Detwiler has struggled since returning last month from a separate back injury, a right oblique strain that also had him on the DL.
“Backs are funny things,” Johnson said.
Detwiler is 0-3 with a 6.31 ERA since returning from the oblique injury. He is 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the season.
Also Saturday, first baseman Adam LaRoche wasn’t listed in the starting lineup for a second consecutive day because of the flu. Johnson said he will also likely rest the left-handed hitter on Sunday against Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.
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