After Gio Gonzalez pitched four scoreless innings through a stiff back last night, he was able to work out today and felt significant improvement. “I feel great,” Gonzalez said as he came off the field following batting practice. “I feel a lot better. I’ll be ready for my next start.”
A rain delay truncated his start, but Johnson said Gonzalez likely would have been limited to only five innings, anyway. Gonzalez said his back tightened up after he threw one pitch, and it contributed to his covering first base late – the play that led to his dugout argument with Jayson Werth.
By today, Gonzalez’s condition improved. He worked out early in the afternoon with “no problem,” Manager Davey Johnson said.
Gonzalez is one of several Nationals starters battling minor injury. Stephen Strasburg tweaked his groin Sunday as he pitched the first complete game of his career. Strasburg threw his usual bullpen session with no ill-effects this afternoon, and Johnson said he is “fine.”
Ross Ohlendorf, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, will make his next rehab start Friday at Class A Potomac. He is expected to pitch five innings after he lasted three with Class AAA Syracuse on Saturday. Ohlendorf isn’t sure of the following step, but expects he will join the Nationals in Atlanta if he pitches without any issues. He said he has felt good throughout his rehab and during a bullpen session on Tuesday.
The Nationals have Ohlendorf lined up to replace Taylor Jordan once Jordan, who underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago, hits his team-mandated innings cap. Johnson said Taylor Jordan felt some stiffness in his back as a result of a lengthy trip to the dentist, but that he’s fine and will start Friday as scheduled.