Making the cut were right-hander Christian Garcia, rookie outfielder/infielder Tyler Moore and left-handed long man Tom Gorzelanny.
Perez, Brown and Leon went to Viera, Fla., to continue working out and remain ready in the event of an injury on the major league roster. DeRosa, Lannan, Strasburg, Duke and Wang remained with the Nationals.
The Nats already had announced Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann as their starters for Games 1 and 2 at Busch Stadium, and Johnson said today Edwin Jackson would start Game 3 in Washington and Ross Detwiler would follow in Game 4.
“I kind of like the experience that Edwin Jackson brings,” he said.
Matheny, meanwhile, hadn’t even officially announced his starter for Sunday’s Game 1, though the worst-kept secret in town had revealed itself 30 minutes earlier when Adam Wainwright took the podium as the next day’s starter.
So it’ll be Wainwright in the opener, followed by Jaime Garcia in Monday’s Game 2, the veteran Chris Carpenter for Game 3 in D.C. and wild-card game starter Kyle Lohse in Game 4.
Johnson’s back improving
The back problem that left Johnson’s left leg numb and forced him from Wednesday’s regular-season finale is improving. Some feeling has returned to the leg, the Nationals manager said Saturday.
“I had about an hour on the table where they jabbed me and put some Novocaine and cortisone to ease the inflammation,” Johnson said. “I feel a heck of a lot better.”
Cortisone has been the Nationals’ wonder drug this season. Ryan Zimmerman got an injection in his right shoulder’s AC joint in June and Danny Espinosa took one in his left shoulder in September. Both shots kept the players from extended disabled-list stints — and took away pain they felt at the plate.
Johnson left the dugout in the seventh inning against the Phillies, worried by the numbness that aspirin and muscle relaxers couldn’t defeat. Five X-rays by Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih diagnosed Johnson with narrowing between his L3 and L4 vertebrae. That caused the numbness.
Johnson admitted his back remained stiff Saturday, not helped by the chilly afternoon. He walked gingerly into his press conference, but later played catch along the third base line and looked like his old self.
“I think with Davey,” Gonzalez said, “he’s just got to stay healthy.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
Marc Lancaster has covered Major League Baseball for the Tampa Tribune and the Cincinnati Post and served as an editor at FanHouse.com and SportsIllustrated.com. A University of Georgia graduate, he began his career as a sportswriter at the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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