Javier Vazquez, the veteran right-handed starter the Nationals and General Manager Mike Rizzo scouted this winter, will not pitch in the major leagues this season because he is still recovering from late January surgery on the meniscus in his right knee, according to a person close to Vazquez. The Puerto Rican native also pulled out of the World Baseball Classic and is also mulling retirement.
Rizzo and the Nationals watched Vazquez, a 14-year veteran with a 165-160 career record and a 4.22 ERA, throw during an early January playoff game in the Puerto Rican winter league. The Nationals monitored Vazquez, 36, as he was still deciding whether he wanted to return to the major leagues this season. Knee surgery has limited Vazquez and now his hopes of returning to the major leagues could be in jeopardy. The right-hander was interested and listening to teams but hadn’t committed to a comeback.
Vazquez’s intentions were first reported by Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
To add depth to their starting rotation, the Nationals last week signed Chris Young, who thew his first live batting practice session on Wednesday. Young, whom the Nationals signed to a minor league deal, is building strength with a typical throwing program this spring after returning from 2011 shoulder surgery. More on his session later.