With Monday serving as the deadline to reinstate players from the 60-day disabled list, the Nationals announced that they have moved starter Ross Detwiler and reliever Christian Garcia back onto the 40-man roster. Detwiler, 27, spent the final three months of the season on the disabled list recovering from a herniated disk in his lower back. Despite high hopes in spring training, Garcia, 28, never reach the majors this season after dealing with myriad injuries.
With starter Dan Haren and infielder Chad Tracy departing the Nationals via free agency, and with the recent additions of minor league outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and now Detwiler and Garcia, the Nationals’ 40-man roster now stands at 40 players. In order for the Nationals to add more players to the roster, perhaps through free agency, space would have to be cleared.
Detwiler endured a disappointing season because of injuries; he also missed nearly a month this summer with an oblique strain. He is eligible for arbitration for the second time and stands to miss out on a significant pay raise because of the time missed. The left-hander posted a 4.04 ERA over 71 1/3 innings during the regular season. But after resting and treatment on his back, he pitched in the instructional league and, according to one scout who saw him, Detwiler looked like he had recovered and was pitching like before.
Garcia showed promise in 2012, reaching the majors as a September call-up and making the postseason roster, and the Nationals are hoping to potentially convert him into a starting pitcher this spring. But his 2013 season was a setback from the beginning. He partially tore a tendon in his right forearm in February, and then while recovering, he felt some shoulder stiffness and hurt his hamstring. The hard-throwing right-hander finished the season with only 13 1/3 innings across three minor league rehab assignments, posting a 2.70 ERA. Garcia is currently pitching for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican winter league and has fired 5 2/3 scoreless innings.