Ross Detwiler's last start in a Nationals uniform came all the way back on May 15, when he left his start against the Dodgers after just three innings with a strained muscle in his lower back.
Nearly a month later, after a painstakingly slow rehab process, the left-hander will finally return to the rubber in a big league game.
Detwiler will get the ball for the Nats in this afternoon's series finale against the Rockies. He'll look to pick up where he left off in mid-May, having posted a 2.76 ERA through his first eight starts of the season.
To make room for Detwiler, who was officially activated off the DL today, the Nats have optioned right-handed reliever Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse.
Davis appeared in five games with the Nats, posting a 6.23 ERA with seven strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
That means that Ross Ohlendorf will be sticking around for the time being. Manager Davey Johnson said last night, after Ohlendorf allowed just one run on two hits in six innings, that he wanted to keep the veteran right-hander on the active roster for a bit longer. It appears he'll now move into the bullpen and serve as another long reliever.
Since Ohlendorf will remain with the Nats for now, I might as well link to this story I wrote back in spring about Ohlendorf being one of three Nats pitchers in a very exclusive club.
Behind Detwiler this afternoon, he'll have most of the normal cast of characters, plus Jeff Kobernus, who is getting the start in left field for the second straight day.
Kobernus went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored last night, getting his first big league start in left, and he'll get another crack at it against Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis, who is 2-4 with a 6.30 ERA on the season.
For the Nats
CF Denard Span
LF Jeff Kobernus
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler
For the Rockies
CF Dexter Fowler
1B Jordan Pacheco
LF Carlos Gonzalez
SS Troy Tulowitzki
RF Michael Cuddyer
C Wilin Rosario
3B Nolan Arenado
2B D.J. LeMahieu
LHP Jeff Francis
Update: Giants manager Bruce Bochy - who will manage the National League All-Star team during the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field - has named two members of the Nationals organization to his coaching staff.
Manager Davey Johnson will be one of Bochy's coaches for the All-Star Game, and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz will serve in that same role for the NL All-Stars.
Johnson has been a part of the All-Star festivities in the past; he managed the senior circuit in the 1987 Midsummer Classic in Oakland, and then served as a coach for Whitey Herzog at the 1986 All-Star Game in Houston.