The Nationals' 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night wasn't without its casualties; Ryan Zimmerman pulled up with a right hamstring cramp in the seventh inning while running out a double. And after the game, the team announced that starter Jason Marquis is headed to the 15-day disabled list after an MRI arthogram showed loose bodies in his right elbow (In English, per my sister Hannah the nurse: an arthogram is where the patient has dye injected into the joint so the damage will show up better on an MRI. In this case, it revealed Marquis has loose bone fragments in his elbow).
General manager Mike Rizzo said Marquis' replacement would come from Triple-A Syracuse and be "on rotation" to pitch Friday; that would mean right-hander Luis Atilano would make his big-league debut.
As for Zimmerman, he said the cramp didn't feel nearly as bad as the left hamstring strain he sustained on April 10 in New York. He grimaced as he pulled into second base, and came out of the game after being checked by trainer Mike McGowan and manager Jim Riggleman. He called it "frustrating," but was hopeful the injury wouldn't keep him down long and wouldn't rule out playing Thursday.
"It happened between first and second when it kind of bounced out," Zimmerman said. "I thought I was fast enough to get a triple, and I'm really not. We'll get back on the field as soon as we can."
Marquis had started the season terribly, with a 20.52 ERA in his first three starts. He'd been doing extra work in preparation for his Friday start, but said he felt healthy after last Sunday's start, during which Marquis was pulled in the first inning before he retired a batter.
"I would imagine it (explains his struggles)," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "It's hard to pitch with floating bodies in your elbow. He's probably trying to gut it out. In my opinion, it probably does have something to do with his poor performance."
Riggleman said Marquis mentioned he'd felt something in his elbow about 10 days ago, but nothing that would prevent him from pitching. General manager Mike Rizzo said Marquis came to the team on Wednesday morning and told them his elbow had tightened up.
The team will get a second opinion from Dr. Tim Kremchek in Cincinnati tomorrow, and make a decision from there. When right-hander Craig Stammen had a similar injury last year, he had arthroscopic surgery that kept him out 4-6 weeks.