After the all-star break, the Nationals will return to the original starting rotation they used when the season opened, Manager Davey Johnson said before Saturday’s game. Stephen Strasburg will start the first game after the all-star break on Friday at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will be followed by Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler.
Strasburg last started on Friday in Miami, the worst start of his career, and will pitch after seven days of rest. Zimmermann, who will attend but not pitch in the all-star game, will have nine days to rest his lingering neck tightness. Part of the reason for putting Detwiler at the end of the rotation is to buy him an extra five days after the all-star break to continue resting and rehabbing his lower back strain.
Detwiler, who last pitched on July 3 and has been on the disabled list since July 7, received an anti-inflammatory shot in his back, Johnson said. The left-hander played catch for the first time on Saturday and still felt some discomfort in his lower back, Johnson said. If Detwiler remains on track, he would be scheduled to start at home on July 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Detwiler, however, would likely need a rehab assignment before he returns, and that could perhaps come July 18, five days ahead of his slated start. But if Detwiler isn’t ready to return as expected, as could be the case, rookie Taylor Jordan could remain with the Nationals and start on July 23. “I don’t know how (Detwiler) is going to progress but that’s a possibility,” Johnson said.