MIAMI -- Nationals right-hander Ryan Drese left Friday's game against the Marlins because of soreness in his right elbow and was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list.
It was Drese's second start since coming off the DL because of shoulder problems. In the fifth inning, with two outs, pitching coach Randy St. Claire walked to the mound for the second time in the inning. Suddenly, St. Claire looked into the dugout and out came manager Frank Robinson, who motioned for left-hander Joey Eischen in the bullpen.
Drese was examined by Dr. Bruce Thomas and it was revealed that he has soreness in his ulnar collateral ligament. Drese will have an MRI on Saturday and will be re-examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Southern California.
"The first one I threw [to Jacobs], it didn't feel right. The next one I threw really grabbed me. It was really a sharp pain, and it grabbed me and that's when I knew something was wrong," Drese said. "I felt great all night. I walked too many guys, but I felt that I was getting my arm strength back. The ball was coming out of my hand, but something happened. I don't know what it is. I won't know until I get an MRI and see what the results are."
This is Drese's second injury in less than a year. Last season, he missed most of September because of a ligament tear in his right shoulder. After shoulder surgery and Spring Training, the Nationals purposely worked him into the mix slowly in order to get the shoulder in game shape. In fact, Drese didn't pitch in his first Minor League game until late March. But one week into the season, he was activated and started against the Astros on April 9 because of a forearm injury to Pedro Astacio, who also is on the DL.
Asked if he came back too quickly, Drese said: "No. I felt fine. There's normal progression. You start throwing and then your command comes a little later. That's the way I felt I was going."
After putting Drese on the DL, the Nationals purchased the contract of relief pitcher Saul Rivera from Triple-A New Orleans.
In eight innings, Rivera has given up one run. Rivera, 28, is also coming off a strong Spring Training, as he went 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in seven Grapefruit League appearances.
The Nationals don't need a fifth starter right now because of the off-day on Monday. They likely will need a starter for either the third game of their three-game series against Philadelphia or the first game against the Braves in Washington.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.