Ross Detwiler continues to receive treatment on his lower back, according to Manager Davey Johnson, and has reported feeling better. The left-handed starter, however, hasn’t begun a throwing program, 11 days before his expected return from the disabled list.
“Probably any day now,” Johnson said when asked when Detwiler would resume throwing. “He’s real close.”
Detwiler last pitched on July 3, nine days ago, and landed on the disabled list on Sunday with a lower back strain. The left-handed would have to resume throwing soon to get back on the mound, and perhaps need a rehab assignment, in order to return when expected.
Detwiler dealt with some lower back discomfort in his last two starts but it flared up the worst during a bullpen session last Saturday. Since he returned from a disabled list on June 13 after missing nearly a month with a right oblique strain, Detwiler posted a 6.31 ERA in five starts.
Detwiler didn’t make the trip this seven-game road trip with the Nationals. He remained in Washington and has been receiving treatment on his back. The Nationals hope to push him to the back of the rotation, buying him more time to rest. If that remains the case, Detwiler’s first start back from the disabled list wouldn’t be until July 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The state of Detwiler’s back could have repercussions beyond him. Despite the fact that the Nationals appear to be inquiring about starting pitching, according to two rival executives, General Manager Mike Rizzo has said he doesn’t expect to make any more major moves now. Johnson isn’t pushing for another starting pitcher, believing the Nationals have enough to contend, even with Detwiler and Dan Haren, who recently returned from the disabled list.