Nationals reliever David Carpenter has stopped his throwing program as he continues to recover from right shoulder inflammation after feeling discomfort while playing catch off flat ground. The veteran will now take two or three days off after receiving anti-inflammatory injections and undergoing an MRI.
The good news is that the MRI showed no structural damage, which alleviated any fears of the injury being something much worse than it was originally classified.
"He's doing fine. He went in for a test to make sure everything is okay, an MRI. All of the results are good," Matt Williams said. "All tests were good."
Williams said Carpenter's throwing program just wasn't going as planned.
"It wasn't getting to where he wanted it to be. He threw a bullpen and it wasn't where he wanted it," he explained. "He wanted to make sure and all indications are that he's okay."
Carpenter, 30, has been on the disabled list since July 12. Before going down he was impressive for the Nationals with a 1.50 ERA through eight appearances in Washington. They acquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees on June 11.
Carpenter's setback comes at an interesting time with the July 31 trade deadline approaching. The bullpen is one area the Nationals could use an upgrade and that has become even more clear with Carpenter's absence.
Denard Span has yet to swing a bat since receiving a cortisone shot in his back on July 13. Span is recovering from back tightness that landed him on the disabled list on July 7.
"That's still unknown. We'll make sure that he gets all the exercises he needs to get to make sure that there's no issues going forward," Williams said.
Williams also added he does not believe Anthony Rendon (left quad strain), Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) or Jayson Werth (broken left wrist) will be ready to return from the disabled list in their next series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nats play at Pittsburgh from Thursday through Sunday. All three are currently on minor league rehab assignment with various affiliates.
"I wouldn't say it's realistic. We'd love to get them as much time as possible," Williams said. "It's all good. But to rush them back after three or four games is pretty quick. We'll see how it goes. I would say that it's probably not likely that they are available this weekend."