NEW YORK — Dan Haren was out in the visitors’ bullpen at Citi Field early Sunday morning throwing from a mound for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation last weekend. And he came away feeling encouraged about the way things went.
“I feel better than I thought I would,” Haren said. “It was more noticeable than I thought. I felt pretty good even when I went on the DL, but maybe there was more going on than I thought because I really did feel really good. The ball was coming out really good. It was easier to get throwing 100 percent, where before it was taking like maximum effort to get the ball to the plate.”
Haren received a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Monday and he played catch for the first time on Thursday. Throughout he has remained hopeful that his stay on the disabled list will be no more than the minimum 15 days. The bullpen session seemed to reinforce that feeling.
“I definitely feel the difference,” Haren said. “I don’t know if it’s the time off or getting the shot or a combination of both. But it feels good coming out. I don’t know if I’ll come back throwing 95 (mph), but maybe it’ll feel a little better coming out, be a little more crisp.”
The plan now is for Haren to throw a simulated game on Wednesday at Nationals Park and then evaluate how he feels. If all goes well, he will throw another bullpen session a few days later and his hope is he’ll be able to slot back into the Nationals’ rotation just before the All-Star break. He would prefer not to pitch in minor league rehab games, he said.
Haren is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 8. It appears Taylor Jordan, who made his major league debut on Saturday, will remain in the Nationals’ rotation until Haren is ready to return.
– Manager Davey Johnson said on Saturday that Ross Detwiler was dealing with a little back stiffness and, if he was unable to throw his bullpen session on Monday, may be in danger of missing his start on Wednesday.
But Detwiler played catch on Sunday morning and there appears to be little question about whether or not he will make his next start.
If Detwiler couldn’t go, Ross Ohlendorf would be tabbed for the spot start. But at this point it seems unlikely that Detwiler will be unable to pitch.