The Washington Nationals were close to being mostly healthy with Jayson Werth back and Denard Span around the corner -- but then they had to place right-hander Craig Stammen on the 15-day disabled list.
Ask anybody around baseball before the season and they would have told you that the Washington Nationals are the best, most complete team in the majors. Their path to a National League East title seemed ... rather easy. It hasn't gone according to plan so far. Injuries have plagued the team to start the year and their defense hasn't helped. A 2-6 record is not what Nationals fans expected when opening the season against the Mets, Phillies and Red Sox.
Now, the injury bug has hit the Nationals again.
Reliever Craig Stammen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm stiffness. Stammen had made four appearances in five days:
Stammen said he's been feeling pain several days. Took Monday off, told Nats he could pitch yesterday, felt worse. Fourth app in 5 days.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) April 15, 2015
The plan, according to manager Matt Williams is for Stammen to undergo further testing Thursday.
Replacing Stammen is a tough task:
Losing Stammen for any period is a blow to Nats bullpen. An underrated reliever: 2.93 ERA from '12-'14 and averaged 81 innings in that span.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 15, 2015
Nats have to hope Jordan can give multiple innings for a tired 'pen, but Stammen loss is huge. Versatile, dependable. Now out at least 2 wks— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) April 15, 2015
Taylor Jordan is the man chosen to hopefully replace Stammen's production while he is out. Jordan, 26 and a starter, could shift to the long-role or that could be taken by Tanner Roark.
Nationals news & notes 4/15:
- Jordan is not the only pitcher to be joining the Nationals. 30-year old Rafael Martin was called up from Triple-A Syracuse. Martin impressed during his short stint this spring, allowing one run in 6 and 1/3 innings pitched.
- Denard Span has been sent on his rehab assignment as he battles back from right-core surgery. If all goes well, it may not be long before Span returns to the Nats, says Mark Zuckerman.
- Jayson Werth was activated by the team, and Matt den Dekker was sent down to Syracuse.
- The Nationals have been shooting themselves in the foot, Jim Meyerriecks of Federal Baseball says.