Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis has been placed on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury.
The Nationals have placed Jason Marquis on the 15-day disabled list after an enhanced MRI revealed "floating bodies" in his right elbow, general manager Mike Rizzo said.
Marquis, who was battered around in his first three starts with Washington, posting an 0-3 record and 20.52 ERA, told team officials this morning he was experiencing elbow pain and was unable to fully extend his throwing arm. An arthrogram (an enhanced MRI in which dye is injected in the patient to help doctors detect abnormalities) revealed the loose bodies in his elbow. He'll get a second opinion tomorrow from orthopedist Tim Kremcheck in Cincinnati, but the Nats didn't waste any time placing him on the DL.
Rizzo said the club will promote a starter from Class AAA Syracuse to take Marquis' rotation spot and pitch Friday night against the Dodgers. Right-hander Luis Atilano, who is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA for the Chiefs, last pitched on Sunday and would line up perfectly to make his big-league debut Friday.
Atilano, a 24-year-old right-hander from Puerto Rico, was acquired by the Nationals in 2006 from the Braves in exchange for veteran first baseman Daryle Ward. Still recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time, Atilano returned strong in 2008 and then worked his way up the Nats' farm system, impressing club officials out of the bullpen this spring.
Marquis, who signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Nationals over the winter, slogged his way through a subpar spring and carried his struggles into the regular season. It came to a head Sunday afternoon, when he failed to retire any of the seven Brewers batters he faced and departed amid a chorus of boos from the home crowd.
The 31-year-old insisted on Monday he was not hurt and said his arm felt "great." After watching several hours of video, he felt he detected some mechanical changes that could help him get back on track and immediately began throwing again in the bullpen.
But manager Jim Riggleman said Marquis first mentioned to team officials about 10 or 12 days ago that he felt some elbow stiffness. He never considered it serious until this morning, when he again told the club.
"He said he had normal pain in elbow after starts, but nothing that was alarming to him and nothing that was alarming to us," Rizzo said.
Asked if he believes Marquis' elbow trouble explains the pitcher's struggles on the mound, Rizzo said: "I'd imagine it does."
"It's hard to pitch with floating bodies in your elbow," Rizzo said. "He's probably trying to gut it out. To answer your question, in my opinion, it probably does have something to do with his poor performance."