PHILADELPHIA — The Washington Nationals shut Taylor Jordan down for the season just more than two weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Monday that they sent him home to Florida to begin a throwing program.
The rookie right-hander, on an innings limit due to his Sept. 2011 Tommy John surgery, knew the premature end to his season was coming. But it was a back strain that cropped up in mid-August that ultimately ended his first year in the major leagues.
In the time since he was placed on the disabled list with the issue, Jordan has been keeping himself busy trying to continue asking questions and learning from his teammates. He also spent a few minutes on each night of the homestand catching the ceremonial first pitch.
Jordan, who lives near the Nationals’ complex in Viera, Fla., will begin a throwing program during instructional league and then likely go through a normal offseason before coming to spring training to compete for a spot in the Nationals’ rotation in 2014.
“(Nationals head trainer) Lee Kuntz put him on a throwing program,” manager Davey Johnson said. “We’re going to miss him not catching the first pitch at home plate.”
– Ross Detwiler, who has been rehabbing a herniated disc in his back since July 4, is getting close to throwing off a mound again. Johnson said the expectation is that the left-hander will do so during the team’s current 10-game road trip that will take them through Philadelphia, Miami and New York.
Detwiler is continuing his rehab at home in D.C.
– A day later, Johnson further discussed Bryce Harper — his key bunt in the Nationals’ rally, and how he thinks the 20-year-old is holding up at this point in the season.
“It’s still an offensive move because they’re not going to be thinking about him bunting,” Johnson said, asked if Harper’s bunt was a good example of him understanding his limitations and how he has struggled against left-handed pitching this year.
“I think he’s made a lot of progress just this year on his approach to left-handed pitching and the last few games he’s really swung the bat good against left-handed pitching. I know he’s going to enjoy this contest against (Cole Hamels). I wouldn’t have rested him today for love or money.”
As for Harper’s health, he indicated to reporters on Sunday night that while the left knee that landed him on the disabled list for 31 games earlier this season is not a huge issue he was feeling the grind of five months of baseball.
“He walked out of the box and he was kind of limping out of the box (on Sunday night),” Johnson said. “When he was jogging down to first on the walk, he was limping. And that’s when I asked if he was OK. But he said he was fine. Good enough for me.”
“He gets a little treatment in the training room. He gets here right after I get here.”