VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals placed reliever Erik Davis on the 60-day disabled list Thursday with a sprained right elbow, a move necessitated in part by the club's four-player trade with the Rays.
Two of the four players the Nationals acquired from Tampa Bay (catcher Jose Lobaton and left-hander Felipe Rivero) are now on the club's 40-man roster. Nate Karns, the lone player dealt to the Rays, had been on the Nats' 40-man roster. Thus, another move was required to clear a spot, and Davis became the victim due to lingering pain in his throwing elbow that has been noted for several months.
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Davis told team officials this winter he was hurting after beginning his offseason throwing regimen. According to general manager Mike Rizzo, the 27-year-old right-hander flew to Washington last month to be examined by team doctors. When Davis reported to camp and threw for the first time, he again experienced the elbow pain, so doctors are shutting him down. Rizzo said he faces 6-to-8 weeks of recovery. Surgery, while a possibility later on, is not planned for now.
"We felt that the prudent thing to do was just to be to put him on the 60-day DL," Rizzo said. "Allow him to take his time, because it’s probably going to be 6-to-8 weeks before he gets rolling anyway."
Acquired from the Padres in 2011 for infielder Alberto Gonzalez, Davis made his major-league debut last season, posting a 3.12 ERA with 12 strikeouts and only one walk in 10 appearances with the Nationals. He faced long odds to make the Opening Day roster but figured to be part of the club's bullpen at some point this year.