Ross Detwiler is expected to rest his lower back strain in the upcoming week and be placed at the end of the rotation after the all-star break, buying him an extra four days, according to Nationals Manager Davey Johnson. Detwiler is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list as soon as July 19, but the Nationals want to give him as much extra time as possible.
Detwiler dealt with some lower back discomfort in his previous two starts but it flared up the worst during a bullpen session on Saturday. Since he returned from a disabled list on June 13 after missing nearly a month with a right oblique strain, the left-handed starter has posted a 6.31 ERA in five starts. The two injuries appear unrelated, but the back strain could have been the result of overcompensating for the oblique.
“He’s getting better,” Johnson said. “With four days at all-star break, and then he’s going to get extra time, almost three weeks. I saw him [Sunday] walking around, and he wasn’t bent over like me. He looked better than I feel.”
Detwiler didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia with the Nationals. He has been receiving treatment on his back. By pushing him to the back of the rotation, Detwiler’s first start back from the disabled list wouldn’t be until July 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. “It’s something that I think they can fix,” Johnson said.