Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson revealed some troubling news before yesterday’s win over the Milwaukee Brewers regarding Ross Detwiler, who is currently sitting for a month with a herniated disk in his back.
Johnson revealed that there is a chance Detwiler does not pitch the remainder of this season, and that if he does in fact return it will most likely be in September, at which time Washington will either completely be out of both races, or they will be in the midst of a huge late season turnaround.
For a team that had no pitching injuries whatsoever in 2012, this is the icing on the cake to an injury riddled 2013, as this is now the fourth pitching related injury Washington has suffered this season, five if you throw in Jordan Zimmermann‘s neck problem, though he has seen no DL time.
With this revelation on Detwiler’s injury, combined with the innings limit to rookie sensation Taylor Jordan, it’s baffling as to why Mike Rizzo did not make a deal for a starter at the trade deadline. Jordan is coming to the home stretch of his post-Tommy John Surgery limit, and Detwiler may not throw another pitch this year. If Rizzo still thinks his team can make the postseason, how could he not make some sort of deal?
There are probably multiple reasons as to why Rizzo did not make the deal. First off, with Jordan pitching so well, and Dan Haren sporting a 2.40 ERA since coming off the DL and shutting out Milwaukee for seven innings, where exactly does this new nameless pitcher fit into Washington’s rotation right now?
Washington could demote Jordan to the minors to finish out his limit, but that would probably be wasting his talents, as he’s shown he can get major league hitters out, and could possibly take Haren’s spot in Washington’s rotation in 2014.
My sense is that Washington will make a deal, probably on the waiver wire, which simply complicates things. Washington will have to claim a player, hope the player is not pulled back and so on.
But the fact of the matter is this: Washington needs to make a deal, and they will. A deal just can’t come soon enough.