Nationals shutting down Garcia 10-14 days

Nationals shutting down Garcia 10-14 days
February 24, 2013, 11:15 am
Share This Post

Spring Training CoverageBaltimore Orioles CoverageWashington Nationals Coverage

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Christian Garcia will be shut down 10-to-14 days to rest his strained forearm, manager Davey Johnson said this morning.

Garcia has been experiencing pain just above his right wrist for the last week, though only when he throws fastballs, not offspeed pitches. An MRI revealed a minor strain, and after receiving a second opinion from a specialist in Baltimore, Garcia has been told he needs to rest his arm for as many as two more weeks.

"It's going to be on how he feels before he starts taking it up a notch," Johnson said. "I think probably 10 days to two weeks, to be on the safe side. But it's just going to be totally up to him."

The Nationals still hope to be able to stretch Garcia out this spring in their attempt to convert him into a starter at Class AAA Syracuse. Though this temporary shutdown would appear to hinder that plan, Johnson said there's still enough time in spring training for Garcia to build up his stamina.

"Shoot, we've got five weeks," the manager said. "I'm not going to worry about it. He's throwing the heck out of the ball. This is just a bump in the road, not a big deal."

Garcia, who had Tommy John surgery twice while in the Yankees farm system, made his big-league debut with the Nationals last September and posted a 2.13 ERA in 13 relief appearances.

Meanwhile, newly signed right-hander Chris Young is expected to throw a bullpen session tomorrow, then another one before facing live hitters for the first time.

Johnson said the club plans to have the 33-year-old veteran (who signed a minor-league deal on Thursday) take over Ross Detwiler's rotation spot when the latter leave camp to join Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Young would likely pitch March 9 against the Marlins.