Manager Jim Riggleman said on Tuesday afternoon the Nationals are almost certain how they'll handle replacing the injured JD Martin in the rotation, but wasn't in the mood to divulge that to reporters yet on Tuesday.
Martin, who went on the disabled list with a strained lower back after his start last Saturday in Milwaukee, was scheduled to pitch on Friday, but yesterday's off-day would allow the Nationals to pitch Ross Detwiler on regular rest on Friday and push the open slot back to Saturday. The Nationals could also bring someone like Matt Chico or John Lannan up to pitch on Wednesday and push everyone back a day in the rotation.
"We know how we're going to line up between now and Saturday," Riggleman said. "We kind of know who it's going to be. Now it's just connecting the days as to when they do it."
One person it probably won't be is right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who is lined up to make his next rehab start on Saturday. The Nationals have taken a cautious route with the right-hander, who's returning from Tommy John surgery. Riggleman went to watch Zimmermann at Single-A Hagerstown on Monday night, talked to him afterward and was encouraged with how the 24-year-old threw, despite the fact he gave up seven runs in five innings.
"My concern is just that he feels good. His arm feels good, his delivery looked good," Riggleman said. "He didn't get the results yesterday that he would have liked, but I know he's encouraged by how his arm feels, and that's quite a few innings he's got now, between the Florida (throwing program) and his rehab starts, where he's held up real good and is doing all his work in between the starts. He's moving forward. I think his next one's going to be in (Double-A) Harrisburg."
Riggleman said he's sure Zimmermann will be in the majors this year. "I don't know that it will be a couple weeks. I hope it is. It might be later than that. But he's healthy, and when he's healthy, he's one of our best guys," Riggleman said.