The Nationals will recall Chien-Ming Wang from his rehab assignment tonight but leave him on the disabled list until Friday, when he will start against the New York Mets. The Nationals have not finalized how they will alter their pitching staff to accommodate Wang, but, barring a trade, Wang will be taking Tom Gorzelanny’s spot in the rotation.
With Wang in the rotation, Gorzelanny, who five days after spraining his right ankle allowed five runs in three innings Saturday night, will likely move to the bullpen. In order to make room for Wang on the 25-man roster, one of their current relievers with options will be sent to Class AAA Syracuse.
The most likely candidate might be Ross Detwiler, since Gorzelanny would be used as a left-handed long reliever and spot starter, the role Detwiler has filled (and filled well, too).
Manager Davey Johnson cautioned against jumping to a conclusion, since the Nationals’ actions before Sunday’s trade deadline could impact the immediate future of their rotation. The Nationals are making veterans starters Livan Hernandez and Jason Marquis available in trades; the Tigers, one team in need of a starter, sent a scout to watch Marquis’s start Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
If there’s no trade, though, Gorzelanny will be prepared Friday to pitch behind Wang should he falter early in his first major league start since July 2009. “I like having a back-up plan,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Marquis is the probable starter Saturday, which means the Nationals have no plans to move Gorzelanny back a day.