By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 23, 2007
After spending over a month on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, Jason Bergmann is set to return to the Washington Nationals' starting rotation Monday at Atlanta.
Bergmann originally was scheduled to start Tuesday's game, but Manager Manny Acta said moving him up a day would allow him to stay on his normal five-day schedule. "The initial thought of starting him on Tuesday was breaking up the lefties, and we decided we can do that after the next day off," Acta said.
The Nationals' next day off is Thursday, after which Acta said one of the left-handers in the rotation would be switched with Bergmann to avoid starting three southpaws in a row.
Bergmann said his arm felt good during his last outing Wednesday at Class AAA Columbus. The right-hander went four innings and gave up one run on three hits. He threw 58 pitches (34 for strikes).
Bergmann attributed the inflammation in his right elbow to a buildup of fluid. He said he waited 10 days after being placed on the disabled list May 18 before having the fluid drained and that his rehabilitation has been on track since then. "It was extreme relief," Bergmann said. "I felt it right away."
In his last start before going on the DL, Bergmann carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Atlanta. However, Acta said it would be foolish to think Bergmann could pick up right where he left off.
"I think it's going to take him a couple of starts to get back where he was before," Acta said.
Pitching coach Randy St. Claire said Bergmann likely would pitch five or six innings with a pitch count between 75 and 80.Third Rehab Start for Patterson
Right-hander John Patterson will make his third rehabilitation start Tuesday, most likely for Class A Potomac. Patterson, who went on the disabled list after seven starts with a nerve problem in his right arm, allowed three hits and one run while walking two and striking out one Thursday in his second rehab start for Potomac, and afterward had no pain.