Jonathan Papelbon was back in the Washington Nationals’ dugout before the end of Monday night’s win over the Mets. He spent the earlier part of his evening in the Potomac Nationals’ dugout, then on the mound in Woodbridge, where he threw 10 pitches over one scoreless inning in the first rehab outing of his career.
“It went great,” Papelbon said. “I felt great. It’s the first time in my big league career I’ve been able to get A-ballers out. I’ve never been able to get them out in spring training before, so it’s quite the accomplishment for me.”
Papelbon landed on the disabled list two weeks ago with a strained right intercostal, a muscle between the ribs. He had never been on the disabled list before, but was throwing soon after the injury. He initially felt the trouble while warming up for his most recent outing, which came two weeks ago Sunday. On Monday, he “didn’t feel anything.”
“The ball was coming out good. My legs were underneath me,” Papelbon said. “I feel ready.”
Papelbon said he hopes to throw one more rehab outing — a simulated game, perhaps Wednesday, he said — and then thinks he would be ready to go. The Nationals tend to be cautious with their relievers, and often like them to complete appearances on back-to-back days before returning. Given that Papelbon has not been out long, he may not be held to that rubric.
“I don’t see why I shouldn’t be ready to go [after a sim game Wednesday],” Papelbon said.