- - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo feels the team will snap out of its slump and its talent will eventually help lead to a rise in the standings.

But for now Rizzo and his staff are trying to piece together a pitching staff that has been hurt by injuries. Rizzo, speaking on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday, said veteran reliever Shawn Kelley will be looked at Wednesday after going on the disabled list the previous day.

Kelley left Monday night’s game in San Francisco after giving up a home run and then throwing a pitch several feet short of home plate.

“You never want to see a guy walk off the mound, especially with elbow history like his,” Rizzo told the station. “He has chips in the elbow that float around. He can’t pitch through it. We will see him this afternoon. Hopefully it is a short-term thing. He wants to be out there. We will take a look at him.”

Jeremy Hellickson, a veteran right-hander, made his second start for the Nationals on Sunday night in Los Angles against the Dodgers. He took the place in the rotation of former No. 5 starter A.J. Cole, who earlier this week was traded to the New York Yankees for cash or a player to be named later.

“It just didn’t go well for him out of the bullpen,” Rizzo said of Cole. “His stuff just didn’t play up. The Yankees had some interest in him.”

Hellickson played last year for the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles, going 8-11 with a 5.43 ERA.

“Jeremy has been through the battles before,” Rizzo said. “He knows himself, he knows what type of pitcher he is. We really like his poise.”

Rizzo said young right-handers Austin Voth (1-0, 0.96) and Erick Fedde (1-0, 1.80) are throwing well at Triple-A Syracuse. Fedde made three starts last year for the Nationals, while Voth has not pitched in the majors.

Fedde was slated to pitch Wednesday night at Indianapolis.

The Nationals (10-14) lost their fourth game in a row Tuesday, falling 4-3 in San Francisco to the Giants. The series and three-city road trip ends Wednesday afternoon with ace right-hander Max Scherzer (4-1, 1.36) on the hill.

Washington returns home Friday to face Arizona. The Nationals entered Wednesday 6.5 games back of the first-place New York Mets.

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