Nats Journal: Dan Haren headed to the DL

Haren, off to his worst start, heads to the DL

The Washington Nationals will place struggling right-hander Dan Haren on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness, an injury Haren said has not been a major factor in his horrendous season in Washington. Haren underscored what he believed to be the nature of his injury when a reporter asked him what had sent him to the DL. “I don’t know,” he replied. “What’d they say?”

The Nationals have become convinced Haren’s physical ailments have led to faulty mechanics and the worst season of Haren’s distinguished career. Haren is 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA, the highest in the majors, while giving up a league-worst 19 home runs. He said he has had trouble getting his shoulder loose recently.

“My shoulder’s been bugging me the last two, three starts,” Haren said. “Nothing really major at all, nothing I haven’t pitched through in the past. I’m not really concerned about it, but they wanted me to take some time to get 100 percent. But I definitely don’t want to use this as an excuse for the first three months of the season. That was more due to lack of execution, instead of an injury.”

Haren will rest and take either anti-inflammation medication or receive a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. He plans to receive an MRI exam in the next day or two to rule out a serious injury, but he does not believe he has suffered any structural damage.

“I think I would’ve rather just keep pitching, yeah,” Haren said. “But from a team standpoint, we talked it over this morning for a while, and they want me to get back to 100 percent. That said, a lot of starting pitchers, most starting pitchers, aren’t pitching at 100 percent. There’s always some dings, some aches and pains, but in my case they wanted me to get back to feeling 100 percent, so they wanted to give me some time, to get my shoulder loosened up a bit, I guess.”

Haren worried in his fourth and final inning Saturday that his velocity was decreasing significantly. His fastball sat that inning between 86 and 89 mph. He finished the start having allowed six earned runs in 31 / 3 innings.

“He’s a gamer,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He wasn’t particularly pleased to go on the disabled list, but he knew it was probably the best thing.”

Werth leaves with injury

Right fielder Jayson Werth exited the Nationals’ 7-6 loss to the Rockies on Sunday for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning after he strained his left groin. Werth first felt a cramp in his groin earlier in the game while chasing down a hit in the right field corner. He attributed the injury to dehydration, playing the day after he sat out with flu-like symptoms.

“When you’re out there sweating and you’re dehydrated to start the game, you’re at risk,” Werth said. “And I knew that going into it, so it’s probably more my fault than anything else. But you want to win, you want to help your team win, and the only way I can do that is if I’m on the field. [I’m] willing to take that risk. I’ve taken it many times.”

Manager Davey Johnson did not rule out Werth landing on the disabled list, but Werth said he hopes to return Tuesday for the Nationals’ next game. Werth received treatment from Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih during the game and said he would know more tomorrow. Werth did not anticipate needing any further tests. . . .

Bryce Harper took full batting practice outdoors for the first time since he landed on the DL in early June. He will work out Monday and Tuesday at Nationals Park and could begin a rehab assignment Wednesday or Thursday at Class A Potomac, Johnson said

— Adam Kilgore

Read what others are saying