VIERA, Fla. — Washington Nationals right-hander Christian Garcia spoke confidently Sunday morning about the progress he’s made each day in lessening the tightness in his right wrist/forearm. But manager Davey Johnson said the team will likely rest him for 10 days, and possibly as long as two weeks, as they err on the side of caution.
Garcia, who got a second opinion on his MRI from a hand specialist in Baltimore, said the pain has lessened each day and, at this point, he feels it’ll be mostly a pain-tolerance issue.
“Right now, I’m just going day-to-day,” Garcia said. “Pretty much, we’re waiting until it goes away.”
Garcia first felt the issue a week ago, when the Nationals held their first full-squad workout on a cold, blustery day in Florida. He was hopeful he might be able to begin to return to activities in about a week, but Johnson indicated it would likely be a bit longer.
“The hand doctor said to be on the safe side he needs more rest,” Johnson said. “Christian’s feeling better and it’s going to be on how he feels before he starts things. I think 10 days, two weeks, to be on the safe side. It’s just going to be up to him.”
Johnson did not seem to think Garcia missing time would compromise the Nationals’ plans to stretch him out in a starter after spending the 2012 season as a late-inning reliever.
“We’ve got five weeks,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about it. He was throwing the heck out of the ball. It’s just a little bump in the road. Not a big deal.”
– Chris Young will throw a bullpen on Sunday or Monday, Johnson said. He will likely have at least two bullpen sessions before he throws a little live batting practice and, ultimately, gets in a game.
Young will likely assume Ross Detwiler’s spot in the rotation when the left-hander leaves the team on March 4 to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.