Ryan Mattheus placed on disabled list

In a move that should surprise few, the Nationals placed reliever Ryan Mattheus on the 15-day disabled list after the right-hander left Thursday’s game with a sore shoulder for the second time in a week. Mattheus was placed on the DL with a right shoulder strain.

He left a game last week against the Reds with a sore shoulder after lifting weights the night before, and said after the game his arm was fine. Last night, he said he felt less tightness than he did last week, but was having trouble throwing the ball as hard as he normally does.

Manager Davey Johnson told reporters in Cincinnati that Mattheus needs to rest, and might not pitch again this year, so the Nationals can avoid risking further injury. But he could return if his arm rebounds quickly.

Mattheus is 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA this year, having asserted himself as one of the Nationals’ best late-inning options. He has stranded 20 of the 28 runners he’s inherited.