It’s kind of amazing how much can change in a few hours, no? Just this morning we noted a few updates on the injury situations facing the Washington Nationals pitching staff, specifically with regards to the team’s bullpen. A few hours later, we have some roster moves to discuss.
Right-hander Ryan Mattheus left the team after last night’s game in Philadelphia to see a foot specialist in Baltimore. He has reportedly been experiencing some discomfort in his left foot for the past two weeks. While he’s been able to play through it, the discomfort has become enough of a concern that the team’s medical staff felt that it needed to be looked at further. An MRI exam was conducted in Philadelphia before Mattheus left for Baltimore and as of first thing this morning the results were not yet known publicly.
By early afternoon the team had learned enough to place Mattheus on the 15-day DL. He reportedly has a partial tear in his heel of his foot. It does not sound as though surgery is going to be a necessity, as Mattheus will wear a walking boot for a couple of weeks. He will still be able to throw and work out in the interim, but keeping him off the mound will alleviate any undo pressure on the injury considering the left is his plant foot.
To replace him on the roster, Washington has elected to activate Chien-Ming Wang this afternoon, rather than wait until after he makes one more scheduled appearance down in Triple-A. Wang actually was in Philadelphia this morning, as he was scheduled to throw a bullpen session in front of the team’s coaching staff, so it became an easy choice to simply keep him around. The right-hander has been on the DL since mid-March after straining a hamstring during a Spring Training game, ultimately costing him a spot in the team’s starting rotation. Wang’s never been a reliever in his career, aside from just five appearances, so the transition to a bullpen role will be a new experience for the veteran.