Fedde will rejoin rotation for Saturday twinbill

Rain continues to fall steadily at Nationals Park, the tarp is on the field and some players are running or throwing in the outfield. The Nationals are in firmly in pregame mode, even as manager Davey Martinez simultaneously plans for a single game tonight, a split doubleheader tomorrow and the possibility of back-to-back twinbills should tonight's scheduled contest be rained out.

"We're preparing to play (tonight), obviously, but we haven't heard anything," Martinez said during his pregame Zoom session with the media.

With a taxed bullpen - and even considering the benefit of an unscheduled day off because of Thursday night's rainout - Martinez is plowing ahead with planning for the rest of the series.

The Nationals will activate Erick Fedde from the COVID-19 injured list tomorrow to start one game of the doubleheader and are preparing for the possibility of another pair of seven-inning games on Sunday should tonight's contest fall victim to the weather.

"We could cover it," Martinez said when asked if the Nats could manage two doubleheaders in a row. "You gotta remember, we'll get an extra pitcher for these games. But it's the games after that we have to worry about."

Thumbnail image for Fedde-Throws-White-vs.-Yankees-Sidebar.jpgPlaying consecutive doubleheaders is permitted under the current collective bargaining agreement, but players on both the Giants and Nationals would need to agree to the arrangement. Because the Giants make only one scheduled trip to Washington each season, the only other possibilities would be to see if the teams can connect on a mutual off-day to play in D.C. or move any games that cannot be played this weekend to San Francisco when the Nationals play there from July 9-11, the final series before the All-Star break.

Fedde, who made a twice-delayed rehabilitation start for Single-A Wilmington on June 5, is ready to rejoin the rotation.

"He went five innings and threw 76 pitches," Martinez said of Fedde. "He felt good enough to go six or seven with 90-plus (pitches). He threw a bullpen the other day ... he looked really good. His mechanics were good, he had his legs underneath him. He went through his daily routine, as he always does, with no issues."

Pitching in a seven-inning game will help Fedde ease back into competition, Martinez said.

"Hopefully, he can cover four of five innings for us - maybe more - and we'll go from there," the manager said.

Martinez said the Nationals could pitch righty Joe Ross in the other game of the doubleheader or turn to a bullpen day.

"We have options," Martinez said.

* Martinez offered updates on a trio of injured pitchers, including righty Stephen Strasburg, who departed the park on Friday after completing a workout. Strasburg is on the 10-day injured list with a neck strain.

"It's frustrating for him, trying to figure things out, but hopefully in the next few days, something will transpire," Martinez said. "So we'll see. Right now, we want him to rest, see if the nerve calms down a little."

Right-hander Will Harris, on the IL while recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, was in the clubhouse Friday, Martinez said.

"He was getting some treatment done," Martinez said. "Says he feels great and can't wait to be back on the mound, helping us win."

Martinez had an encouraging report on right-hander Austin Voth, who sustained a broken nose in Philadelphia last weekend when he was struck in the face with a pitch while trying to bunt.

"The swelling has gone down tremendously," Martinez said. "He can open his (left) eye now. He actually was able to ride the (stationary) bike. He went out and kinda threw the baseball at a short distance and he said he felt fine. So now it's just a matter of waiting for the swelling to completely go down until he can do more baseball activity."

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