- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2007

The Washington Nationals won’t have to look far to find a replacement for John Patterson. Jerome Williams has apparently shown he’s ready to step right in and fill the vacant spot in the club’s starting rotation.

Williams, on the 15-day disabled list since April 29 with a sprained left ankle, allowed one run and four hits in a six-inning rehab start yesterday for Class AAA Columbus and was pronounced fit to be activated in time to start Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.

The 25-year-old right-hander went 0-4 with a 6.11 ERA in five April starts with Washington, but he tossed six shutout innings in his final outing before hurting his ankle while batting. Club officials are hoping that start along with yesterday’s 78-pitch performance against Buffalo are signs he’s poised to come back strong.

So Williams will get the nod Tuesday at RFK Stadium, taking over the spot left open when Patterson went on the DL with right elbow and biceps soreness.

Wagner out 2-4 weeks

An MRI taken on Ryan Wagner’s right shoulder yesterday revealed only tendinitis, and the reliever will be out two to four weeks.

Wagner, who can resume a throwing program in seven to 10 days, said he first felt shoulder pain about two weeks ago but tried to keep pitching through it without telling team officials. He finally informed the club Monday and was placed on the 15-day DL.

He’s 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in 14 appearances.

Wilson claimed

Infielder Josh Wilson, designated for assignment by the Nationals on Tuesday, was claimed off waivers yesterday by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Wilson had only one hit in 19 at-bats with Washington and committed five errors in 25 fielding chances.

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