Patterson Will Have Arm Checked

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 24, 2007

Washington Nationals starter John Patterson will seek several other opinions on his ailing right arm this week in an attempt to uncover the cause of radial nerve irritation.

Patterson said he would begin tomorrow by visiting John Conway, team physician for the Texas Rangers, and would continue on to see orthopedic specialist Lewis Yocum on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

"It's the same symptoms I had earlier in the year," Patterson said. "When I try to throw the ball hard and get full extension on my delivery, my arm starts aching."

The most recent flare-up occurred during a bullpen session before last night's game. Patterson said the only pitch he was able to throw was his fastball and that long-toss sessions of between 180 and 250 feet seem to trigger the pain.

Hampered by elbow and biceps soreness in his right arm that stemmed from a nerve problem, Patterson went 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA in seven starts before heading to the disabled list May 6. He had thrown two rehab stints for Class A Potomac in recent weeks.

Patterson said he also would see other doctors later this week.

Schroder's Third Pitch Working Out

Over the winter, Chris Schroder worked with Jose Rijo, executive assistant to the general manager, in the Dominican Republic to find a grip for his slider that would make the right-handed reliever feel more comfortable. He needed to develop a third pitch to complement his fastball and change-up.

"I put my fingers on a different part of the seam that made it feel like a fastball," said Schroder, who was called up Wednesday from Class AAA Columbus. "My slider has gotten a lot sharper, and I have more confidence in it."

Schroder threw one scoreless inning Wednesday night against Detroit, which Manager Manny Acta said was good but not a definitive sign of improvement. "One game is not enough; I have to keep seeing it," Acta said. "I hope he utilized his time down [in the minors] to work on [the slider], because up here, you don't have time to work on it. You just have to get it done."

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