Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis returns to the mound Sunday for the first time since April 18.
PHOENIX -- Jason Marquis will come off the disabled list to start Sunday against the Dodgers, the veteran's first appearance since three early-season disastrous starts that resulted in him undergoing surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow.
Scott Olsen was scheduled to pitch Sunday in Los Angeles, but Jim Riggleman said the left-hander will remain in the rotation. If Stephen Strasburg returns from the DL himself to start Tuesday against the Marlins, Olsen would have to slot in sometime after that.
Marquis, who signed a two-year, $15 million contract over the winter to serve as a stabilizing veteran in the Nats' rotation, was shut down after only three April starts in which he was torched for 20 runs in 8 1/3 innings. He then admitted he had been experiencing elbow pain, and a subsequent MRI revealed bone chips.
After 3 1/2 months of rehab, including four minor-league starts, Marquis is ready to rejoin the big-league rotation. He last pitched Monday for Class AAA Syracuse, allowing one earned run and three hits over six innings, convincing himself and team officials he was ready to come off the DL.
"I feel comfortable with where I'm at now," he said. "My last two times out were pretty good. I'm ready to go."
Though the Nationals have an overflowing pool of rotation candidates right now, Marquis' contract status almost forces the club to make him part of the mix the rest of this season and in 2011. The 31-year-old is motivated to live up to his contract.
"They showed faith in me giving me a two-year deal," he said. "It didn't turn out the way I wanted the first four months with the injury. But I'm excited to get the ball again and show the organization, my teammates, the coaching staff and the city of D.C. that we do have a team that can win here, and I want to be a part of it."