Having seen his lineup finally come together in full health before the closing of the season’s first half, Nationals manager Davey Johnson is down another man for the team’s first game after the All-Star break.
First baseman Adam LaRoche is out with the flu, though it may keep him out just one game. He is expected to stay in the locker room to get treatment by team doctors during Friday night’s game against the Dodgers.
Johnson hopes to have him back on Saturday.
“I saw him yesterday and I was concerned about him yesterday,” Johnson said. “He was coughing and I think he’s just got a bad case of the flu. He came in just to see a doctor and he’s going to stay in the back room. See if they can’t get him well. I hope he gets well quick.”
Perhaps more concerning to the Nats as they open the second half is another setback for left-hander Ross Detwiler. He threw off flat ground on Thursday and experienced soreness in his back Friday morning.
The Nats had hoped he could throw a bullpen session on Friday before the game, but plans have changed.
“If he felt good he would get on the mound today, but we’re going to give him another day,” Johnson said.
The Nats skipper was honest about the outlook for Detwiler.
“I’m not hopeful at this point,” Johnson said. “I was hoping that he would feel good enough to throw a bullpen. He’s just kind of hanging in there.”
Detwiler hasn’t pitched since July 3 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 7, retroactive to July 4.
The Nats were aiming for Tuesday against the Pirates for Detwiler’s return, but that looks extremely unlikely at the moment. Even aiming for next Friday’s doubleheader against the Mets sounds unrealistic.
“For me he would have to throw today or tomorrow and do a side, then get out and pitch in a game. I don’t think we’re going to do it by then,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Ross Ohlendorf may have to make one of the doubleheader starts in case Detwiler isn't ready.
Taylor Jordan not on an innings limit… not yet at least
With rookie Taylor Jordan’s stay in the majors having been extended several times already, the prospect of him hitting an innings limit has been discussed by fans and those in the media. He did, after all, have Tommy John surgery in 2011.
But although some people may be talking about it, Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo haven’t had that conversation with each other. The time may come, but for now it isn’t an issue.
“Nobody’s told me whether he’s close to being shut down or not. It’s not in the equation yet,” Johnson said. “He’s got a ways to go.”
Jordan has pitched 112 innings this season in total, 21 2/3 with the Nationals after throwing 90 1/3 in the minors. Last season he threw 54 1/3 after joining the Auburn Doubledays on June 18.
Mike Rizzo revealed a week ago there would be an innings limit for Jordan this season, the number just hadn’t determined yet by Nats’ brass.