Nationals pitching coach remains in D.C. hospital

Nationals pitching coach remains in D.C. hospital
July 30, 2013, 6:30 pm
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DETROIT — Steve McCatty remains in a D.C. hospital two days after he was admitted with high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, but the Nationals hope their pitching coach will be released on Wednesday and rejoin the club sometime soon after that.

"Cat's doing alright," manager Davey Johnson said before tonight's game against the Tigers. "They're just keeping him the hospital tonight, and then they'll probably let him out tomorrow. Just being really careful with him, and I'm glad they're doing that."

McCatty, 59, was taken to the hospital Sunday morning after he experienced atrial fibrillation at Nationals Park before the club's series finale against the Mets. He has been receiving medication for the condition since and was hopeful of joining the Nationals on their Monday afternoon charter flight to Detroit.

Doctors, though, want McCatty to remain in the hospital until the medication takes full effect and allows him to travel without concern. It's unclear when that will be the case, but it's unlikely he'll return to the dugout in time for Wednesday afternoon's finale of this brief, two-game series in Detroit, his hometown.

The Nationals are off Thursday, then open a weekend series in Milwaukee on Friday. Until McCatty returns, Johnson will make all mound visits as de facto pitching coach.

With less than 24 hours now until MLB's trade deadline, Johnson reiterated what he has believed all along: He doesn't expect the Nationals to make any deals.

Asked today if he believes his roster will look the same by the end of Wednesday, Johnson replied: "Yeah, I don't think we're going to do anything. I didn't think we were going to do anything last year. I think we've got the players we want here. They just need to do the things they're capable of doing, and we're fine."

If there's one area the Nationals might address, it could be their bench, with general manager Mike Rizzo perhaps seeking to add another veteran, left-handed bat. There aren't many available options, though, and Rizzo might also prefer to wait until after Wednesday and take his chances with a waiver claim or trade in August as he did last summer in acquiring catcher Kurt Suzuki and infielder Cesar Izturis.

Standing pat could also send a message to the clubhouse that management believes this roster is good enough to win.

"Yeah, it's not like you could point to one area or one person or whatever," Johnson said. "Everybody's capable of doing better than they have been doing. I've seen signs of it. It's not just the offense. It's the pitching. It's everything."

Though they fully intend to shut down Taylor Jordan soon once he reaches a predetermined innings limit for the season, the Nationals aren't saying publicly what that limit is. They also don't plan to tell the rookie right-hander in advance, informing only after he makes his final start.

"We have a good idea," Johnson said. "But it's not something I need to talk about at this point. ... He's in the starting rotation. That's all he needs to know."

Jordan, in his first full season since Tommy John surgery, has thrown 125 2/3 total innings this year between the majors and minors. His pre-surgery high was 94 1/3 innings in 2011 at low-Class A Hagerstown.

For now, Jordan is scheduled to start Sunday in Milwaukee. Ross Ohlendorf, who allowed one run over seven innings in Friday's doubleheader, is back in the bullpen and available to pitch in long relief.