Nationals starter Ross Detwiler has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique, reports Adam Kilgore. The lefty missed his previous scheduled start on May 20 against the Giants and was replaced by Zach Duke. Thanks to an off-day on the 23rd, the Nationals were able to bump everyone else up one start, but were looking to get another spot start on Tuesday. As a result, they DL’ed Detwiler retroactive to May 16 and promoted 26-year-old Xavier Cedeno.
Cedeno, a lefty, was picked up off waivers by the Nationals from the Houston Astros on April 23. In five games out of the bullpen with the Astros, Cedeno allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on ten hits and seven walks while striking out three in 6.1 innings of work. With Triple-A Syracuse, the Nationals’ affiliate, Cedeno posted a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings with 14 strikeouts and three walks.
As for Detwiler, his injury is unfortunate for the Nationals as they were enjoying his hot start to the season. He had a 2.76 ERA through eight starts.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.