- - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — Nationals right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole missed his start on Monday in Lakeland against the Tigers due to a stomach bug.

But Washington manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday the right-hander from Florida is not out of the running for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Cole, 25, is in the mix along with fellow right-handers Erick Fedde and veteran Edwin Jackson, who went three innings in place of Cole against Detroit and gave up one earned run in a 5-4 win.

“We have not made any decisions on it,” Martinez said before a rare spring training night game, against the New York Mets on Tuesday. “Of course A.J. is in the mix, for sure. (The spot) is still up in the air. We will see how it goes.”

Martinez, the first-year manager, said Cole was able to get some work in on Monday at the team’s spring training complex in West Palm Beach. That saved Cole from having to make the trip of about 170 miles to the northwest to Lakeland.

“He will get back in there; he pitched yesterday. He had, like, a regular side day,” Martinez said. “The good news he is feeling better.”

Cole made his big league debut with the Nationals in 2015 and last year was 3-5 with an ERA of 11 games with Washington, including eight starts. He also made 18 starts at Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 4-5 with a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts.


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