Nats righties Rodriguez, Giolito undergo surgery

Nats righties Rodriguez, Giolito undergo surgery

Nats righties Rodriguez, Giolito undergo surgery
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-handers Henry Rodriguez and Lucas Giolito had arm surgeries performed on Friday.

It turns out that Rodriguez had a loose body removed from the elbow and cannot pick up a ball for at least three months. However, Rodriguez is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since Aug 2 because of another injury -- a lower back strain. Rodriguez had been complaining about the elbow injury two weeks before he went on the DL, according to general manager Mike Rizzo.

"Henry's procedure was similar to the one that Drew Storen had," Rizzo said. "He had the bone fragment, the bone spur removed from his elbow. So they cleaned it up, and he should rehab and be prepared for the beginning of Spring Training."

Rodriguez appeared in 35 games and had a 5.83 ERA with nine saves. He started the season as the closer, but Rodriguez lost the job to Tyler Clippard later in the spring after he was not productive on the mound.

"He was pitching with a lot of pain," Johnson said. "He is big and strong. He just kind of hid [the pain]. He was letter perfect in the spring, he was fresh. ... Then he started having some lulls. From what the doctor said, the elbow was in a lot worse shape than he anticipated. ... [The doctors] had to do more cleanup work than they thought going in."

As for Giolito -- who had been pitching for the Gulf Coast League Nationals -- he had Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Southern California. His fastball had been clocked as high as 100 mph, and he has a power curveball, but he endured right elbow problems earlier this year, spraining his ulnar collateral ligament.

Giolito would have been a higher pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft if not for the injury.

During the Rizzo era, the Nationals have had their share of pitchers -- Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann to name two -- who have had Tommy John surgery and have come back to become successful pitchers.