By Bryan Frantz

WASHINGTON — Erick Fedde didn’t have the season that Nationals fans hoped he would, and now it’s come to an early end.

Fedde, the Nationals’ top pitching prospect entering the 2017 season, made three starts for the big-league squad. In those three starts, he allowed 16 earned runs in 15.1 innings, an ERA of 9.39.

After his velocity was noticeably down in his third start, the Nationals put Fedde on the 10-day Disabled List with a right forearm flexor strain. GM Mike Rizzo told reporters Monday that Fedde would otherwise be ready to go soon and would only miss one or two starts, but because the season is nearing its close and the Nationals are counting on Fedde for years to come, Washington is taking the cautious route and shutting him down for the year.

Add Fedde to the list of Nationals starting pitchers who have fought injury this season, and you get a disturbingly big group: Fedde, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross have each made appearances on the DL.

A.J. Cole will take Fedde’s place in the immediate future, though it remains unclear what the Nationals’ postseason rotation will look like. Assuming health for Scherzer, Strasburg and Ross, Washington will likely look to Cole or Edwin Jackson for a start.

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