Doug Fister’s inflamed right elbow has felt improved enough that he we will play catch on Tuesday, according to Manager Matt Williams, his first throwing since he first felt tightness in the elbow last week. Fister has been treated with anti-inflammatory medicine, ice and rest, Williams said, and the inflammation has subsided.
The Nationals, and Fister, have been unconcerned about the elbow because an MRI from last week showed there was no structural damage to the right-hander’s throwing elbow. Fister, 30, was slated to start Friday but was skipped because of the discomfort.
The timetable beyond Fister playing catch on Tuesday is not yet set. It will hinge on how Fister feels after throwing. “We gotta make sure that he’s good to go with every step and that’s the first one,” Williams said.
>>> Ross Ohlendorf, who left Thursday’s game with back spams, played catch on Monday and, if he feels well, will play catch again on Tuesday, Williams said. Ohlendorf, who was slowed earlier in camp with discomfort in his side and a finger laceration, is feeling better.
Ohlendorf will throw a bullpen session after he finishes playing catch. Williams doesn’t anticipate Ohlendorf needing to throw live batting practice before he can return to throwing in games.
>>> Ryan Mattheus, who has been dealing with chest inflammation for nearly three weeks, has been stretched out to playing catch at 90 feet, Williams said. He will progress to throwing from 120 feet. The right-handed reliever has sat out for an extended time with his injury, so his return will take longer as he builds his arm strength back up.
>>> Michael Gonzalez, who was signed last week to a minor league deal, threw his first bullpen session with the Nationals on Sunday and, according to Williams, looked sharp.
“He told us that he had been throwing and it was evident in the bullpen,” Williams said. “He looked really good.”
The left-handed reliever, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, is scheduled to throw in a minor league game on Tuesday. If he throws well then, Williams said Gonzalez may be ready to pitch in major league spring training games.
“Not seeing him throw, guys say they’ve been throwing but yesterday it was evidence that he had been,” Williams said. “He was sharp in his bullpen and velocity was there. He’ll cycle right in as quickly as we can get him in so we can take a look, too.”
>>> The second round of cuts from major league camp may happen on Thursday, after Wednesday’s split-squad games. But the Nationals may not trim too many because there is another day of split-squad games on Sunday.