PHILADELPHIA — Doug Fister is healthy and ready to make his Nationals debut Wednesday against the Dodgers, but the club may push the right-hander back to Friday night's game in Oakland in order to keep Stephen Strasburg on normal rest.
"He's good to go," manager Matt Williams said. "There's no issues. He got through his outing and feels good about it. We talked about Wednesday earlier today, but then we thought: You know what, it may actually work better the other way."
Fister threw 76 pitches over 3 2/3 innings last night for Class AA Harrisburg at Reading and made the short drive to Philadelphia afterward to join his Nationals teammates. He declared himself healthy after spending the season's first month on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle and declared himself ready to made his debut Wednesday at Nationals Park.
"I felt strong," he said. "I feel right where I need to be. I'm a little late, obviously, but for the most part came out of the game and felt strong, felt like I could go back out for a couple more innings. The numbers weren't quite what I was looking for, but I feel like I'll be ready for Wednesday."
Though the Nationals would be comfortable sending Fister to mound Wednesday against the Dodgers, Williams suggested it was more important to get Strasburg back on normal rest, especially after the ace threw only 83 pitches over six innings last night against the Phillies.
"We're always looking for extra rest for guys," the manager said. "But the fact he only threw 80-something pitches last night may dictate that we can push [him to come back sooner], too. We'll make that determination today."
Whether his debut comes Wednesday in D.C. or Friday in Oakland, Fister admitted he's getting antsy to take the mound for his new club at long last.
"I'm more excited just to be a part of the team," said the 29-year-old, acquired from the Tigers over the winter. "These guys have been here. I'm excited to help any way that I can now and get out there and get on the mound for the first time for these guys and really feel a part of the team. It's been a long time coming, and I'm pretty amped about it."
Other injury updates...
— Wilson Ramos caught six innings and went 1-for-4 at extended spring training earlier today. Ramos, who broke a bone in his left hand on Opening Day, is scheduled to fly north tonight and hopes to serve as DH on Sunday for Class A Hagerstown. If that goes well, the catcher could come off the DL before the end of the Nationals' upcoming series against the Dodgers.
— Adam LaRoche is back in the lineup tonight after coming out of last night's game early due to a lingering quad strain. The issue has been bothering LaRoche on and off for a couple of weeks, but he has felt strong enough to play. Williams suggested LaRoche could get an upcoming day or two off to make sure the injury doesn't become more serious.