Ryan Mattheus likely to miss 4-6 weeks after locker punch

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How long is a pitcher sidelined after he punches a locker with his pitching hand and breaks it (the hand, not the locker)? Well, in Ryan Mattheus’ case 4-6 weeks.

That’s the official word from the Nationals and as Amanda Comak of the Washington Times notes the good news is that the reliever won’t need surgery.

Mattheus was off to a slow start this year, but after posting a sub-3.00 ERA in both 2011 and 2012 he’s been an underrated part of the bullpen who the Nationals likely won’t have back until the second half.

That locker now has a month or so to do whatever the hell it likes with no fear, though.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.