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UPDATED: Nats place Carpenter on DL, call up young lefty


UPDATED: Nats place Carpenter on DL, call up young lefty

[Updated 4:58 p.m.]

The Nationals' ever-changing bullpen will open the second half of the season with another alteration after the club placed right-hander David Carpenter on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation (retroactive to July 12) and recalled lefty Sammy Solis from Class AA Harrisburg to take his roster spot.

Carpenter had been a welcome addition to the Nationals' bullpen after his acquisition from the Yankees last month, posting a 1.50 ERA in eight appearances, putting only seven men on base in six innings, and earning some usage in high-leverage situations.

Manager Matt Williams was prepared to use Carpenter in another big spot Saturday in Baltimore, with the Nationals trying to hold a late lead against the Orioles. The 30-year-old was warming up in the bullpen at Camden Yards but took a seat after feeling discomfort in his arm. Casey Janssen wound up pitching the eighth inning and helping the Nats secure a victory.

"Before the break there was a couple of times where he got up in the bullpen and one time in particular in Baltimore that he got up and we were going to get him in the game and he couldn't go," Williams explained.

Williams said Carpenter tested his shoulder in a throwing session on Thursday night.

"Last night he threw, but still was feeling it a little bit. Rather than play short… we decided to put him on the DL and retro him to the 12th and make sure he's ready to go when he gets back."

Solis, 26, owns a 4.50 in six appearances this season, mostly as a long reliever. Once a highly touted starter within the organization, the left-hander has resurrected his career as a reliever after battling injuries for several years.

Williams will rely on several players to replace Carpenter, who had become one of his most reliable options for the eighth inning.

"It will be a number of guys depending on the situation and depending on the matchup and what the game presents us. We have options. Of course, Casey's familiar with it. [Matt] Thornton's familiar with it. We can use [Aaron] Barrett, we can use either of the lefties depending on workload, who's pitched and who hasn't," Williams said.

MORE NATIONALS: Will Tuesday night's All-Star Game impact the Nats in October? 

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.


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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

Following a dicey matchup between the Nats and Braves Friday night which featured a heated argument between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are getting a much-needed opportunity to regroup.

The Washington Nationals' official Twitter account announced that Saturday evening's matchup will be postponed due to inclement weather just after 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Nationals had planned to host "JMU Night" at the ballpark as a part of their "College Day" series, and due to more forecasted inclement weather Sunday, the Nationals decided to call the game off sooner rather than later.

The Nationals have yet to announce when the game will be made up.

If Sunday's game is played as scheduled, Max Scherzer will start.

This post will be updated when more information regarding a makeup date has been announced.