Eischen suffers broken right arm

Reliever Eischen suffers broken right arm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Reliever Joey Eischen left Sunday's game in the top of the seventh inning against the Mets because of a broken right arm.

He will have surgery on Monday and miss eight to 12 weeks. Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team's orthopedic physician, will perform the surgery.

Eischen is the sixth Nationals pitcher this season to land on the disabled list.

"Joey is a big part of this team -- in the clubhouse. He's the team's personality. We are going to miss him," said pitcher John Patterson. "Hopefully, it's not too long, because we need him in this clubhouse."

Mets second baseman Kazuo Matsui, pinch-hitting for Aaron Heilman, led off the seventh by hitting a chopper toward the pitcher's mound. Eischen, who replaced Patterson to start the inning, dove and caught it on one hop, fell hard to the ground and laid on the ground in pain for several minutes before being helped off the field by Dr. Douoguih. Eischen said he heard a pop the moment that he hit the ground.

A little after midnight ET, Eischen returned from the hospital and received hugs from center fielder Brad Wilkerson and right fielder Jose Guillen.

Eischen had tears welled up in his eyes when he spoke to the media.

"I'm real upset that I hurt myself. I'll be back in eight weeks or so. This really [stinks]," Eischen said. "I landed on my arm and it snapped. I heard it snap, [Vinny Castilla] heard it snap. I was hoping it was dislocated, and it's not."

Hector Carrasco replaced Eischen and shut out the Mets in that inning.

Now the Nationals have to decide who they will call up to replace Eischen. The choices are right-handers Tony Armas Jr. and Claudio Vargas, who are currently doing rehab assignments. If they choose one of them, it would mean the Nationals don't have a lefty in the bullpen.

The Nationals are not considering lefty Joe Horgan. He is hasn't retired a batter since being demoted to the Minor Leagues last Sunday and is experiencing a sore shoulder.

"We don't have very many choices. I don't where we are going to go from here," manager Frank Robinson said. "We'll promote the person we think that will do a job for us, whether it's left-handed or right handed."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.