The Nationals' decision to put Tom Gorzelanny on the 15-day disabled list came about after the left-hander reported some discomfort in his left elbow after playing catch Wednesday. Gorzelanny was able to throw, but said he felt soreness - "like a shin splint in your forearm" - and decided to back off.
The left-hander had tried to pitch through pain in 2008, he said, and it came back to bite him; he went 6-9 that season with a 6.66 ERA. Gorzelanny had a 5.55 ERA in 2009, spending much of that year in the bullpen.
"I kind of hid it and said, 'I'm fine. I'll throw,'" Gorzelanny said. "I paid for it for a couple years - physically that year, mentally the next couple years. I had to get all the way back to this point, and it came about again. I'm a little bit smarter now, more of an adult now. I just want to take care of it."
He decided to speak up about it this time, and the Nationals will give him a couple weeks to rest. They put him on the disabled list last night with left elbow inflammation, though he had a MRI arthrogram that showed no structural damage.
Gorzelanny played catch yesterday, and he said he doesn't expect to miss more than a couple starts.
"I don't want to try to pitch through pain and fight myself all year," Gorzelanny said. "We'll just shut it down now and get back here soon."
Manager Jim Riggleman said the Nationals will try to get all of their starters some rest throughout the season; they skipped Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation after a rainout on May 17, and will let Gorzelanny rest his arm until mid-June.
"We like to look for, as we did for Zimmermann, a period in the season where you can let a guy take a break from his starts, let the arm recover a little bit and crank it back up," Riggleman said. "We don't make it happen, but we're certainly receptive to it. We try to do it with just about everybody anyway, so while he's got a little tenderness, this is the time to do it."
The Nationals will call up a starter for Sunday's game, when Gorzelanny was supposed to pitch. They'll have their pick of a couple options for tomorrow's game; Tom Milone is scheduled to start for Triple-A Syracuse today, and Yunesky Maya is slated to start for the Chiefs tomorrow. Milone is 3-3 this season with a 3.78 ERA at Syracuse, and Maya is 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA