The Nationals’ clubhouse had a very February 2005 feel today. Luis Ayala, Jamey Carroll, Ian Desmond and Livan Hernandez – here in his new role as instructor/coach/comedian/batting practice thrower/emergency reliever – were all present.
Position players continued to trickle in to Nationals camp. Steven Souza, Michael Taylor and Zach Walters joined Desmond, Carroll and Danny Espinosa among early arrivers.
It was a one of the quietest days of spring. Pitchers and catchers took physicals and worked out on their own schedule. The real practices will start tomorrow with the first organized bullpen sessions and workouts for catchers.
One pitcher who will not participate is reliever Erik Davis, whom the Nationals placed on the 60-day disabled list yesterday with an elbow strain. Davis first hurt himself a week ago, throwing to hitters as he always does before reporting for spring training. He felt a twinge in his elbow when he threw a changeup – “I just kind of over-pronated a little bit,” Davis said.
Davis threw a fastball with good command and good velocity, but he still felt soreness. He had never experienced any kind of arm issues before, and so he was worried enough to call the Nationals. An MRI showed a minor strain.
“It’s really not that bad,” Davis said.
The Nationals originally planned on letting Davis for two weeks. But when they needed a roster spot to add Jose Lobaton and Felipe Rivero from the Rays, they shifted Davis to the 60-day disabled list to create room and give him more time to recover.
“By putting me on the 60-day DL, not only gave them some flexibility, I think, with the roster move yesterday, but also is going to prevent me from trying to rush back,” Davis said. “This gives me an extra two weeks or so from the original time frame that they were going to give me. So they think that extra two weeks is going to help me a lot going forward through the season.”
Davis debuted last season and made 10 appearances. He likely would have started the season at Class AAA Syracuse.
“I wasn’t so worried because the fact that I threw another pitch and I still had velocity on it, I was able to control the pitch,” Davis said. “So it wasn’t a concern as far as ‘Oh, [shoot], I’m done for the year.’ It was more ‘Oh, [shoot], I’m a week away from reporting to camp and I feel unbelievable right now.’ So it was more just like ‘Darn it, what happened?’ But other than that, I had a really good offseason, so it’s kind of unfortunate. But now it’s just get back out there when I can, do what I can.”