After Surgery, Wagner's Out For the Season

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Even before he had officially received the bad news about reliever Ryan Wagner, Washington Nationals Manager Manny Acta knew it would be a while until he would see the pitcher on the mound again.

All the signs were there, including a trip to the Birmingham, Ala., offices of orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.

"Everybody knows how long this takes," Acta said about Wagner, who has been on the disabled list since May 8 with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff. "And after that, becoming effective, too, is another thing. It's a long time."

Acta's fears were affirmed just before game time yesterday, when the club announced that Wagner would miss the remainder of the season.

Andrews performed a superior labral anterior posterior repair on Wagner earlier in the day, a surgery to reattach the torn labrum in the right shoulder. Wagner is scheduled to begin a throwing program in four months.

Wagner, who turns 25 next month, went 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in 14 relief appearances. The right-hander came to the Nationals last season in the same trade that brought Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez from Cincinnati.

"He's a big part of this team when he's healthy, and a part of our future too," Acta said.

Speigner Stays in the Rotation

Right-hander Levale Speigner will keep his place in the Nationals' patchwork rotation, for now. Acta, who was noncommittal on Speigner's status after he allowed six runs in the first inning of an 11-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Saturday, said the pitcher would throw for the Nationals on Saturday at Minnesota. With the day off Monday, Jason Simontacchi was moved up to start on Friday.

"It's not like we have a line of options," Acta said. "We have a lot of guys hurt here and in Triple A. So the kid will go out there again."

In four starts, Speigner has a 14.44 ERA and has yet to pitch more than four innings. But Speigner offered some encouragement in his last start, allowing only one hit over three innings after his first-inning blowup, which was caused partly by several defensive misplays.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company