VIERA, Fla. - Nationals pitchers are starting their second pass through the rotation this week, which means the team is getting to a point where it can't piggyback two starters in the same spring game anymore. Livan Hernandez threw four innings in an intrasquad game yesterday, and John Lannan will do the same today. Those two pitchers might be the two surest bets the Nationals have, so they're being outsourced, so to speak, to get their work.
There's not much room for them in actual games because on the major league side, the Nationals simply have too many pitchers they're still trying to see.
Ross Detwiler started yesterday, and Yunesky Maya will get the start today against the Astros. The Nationals will also get a look at Garrett Mock today, and they'll see Jordan Zimmermann and Jason Marquis the two days after that.
As for Tom Gorzelanny, there's still some question about when the left-hander will get in a major league game. He was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday, but he's throwing a bullpen session today in an updated pitching schedule. That would put him in line to pitch on Thursday, when Chad Gaudin is also scheduled to go. But it would also line Gorzelanny up as the No. 5 starter in the Nationals' rotation.
There's a picture of the Nationals' entire pitching schedule for the week on our Facebook page.
Manager Jim Riggleman also said that reliever Henry Rodriguez is "100 percent ready" physically to pitch in a spring game after arriving late in camp because of visa issues, but he wasn't sure if Rodriguez had gone through the Nationals' entire training protocol before appearing in a game. Elvin Ramirez, who was also delayed by visa issues but arrived before Rodriguez, is also 100 percent, Riggleman said.
"I'm sure we'll get (Ramirez) in a game soon," Riggleman said.