NEW YORK -- Nationals right-hander Doug Fister will start the 2014 season on the 15-day disabled list because of a right lat strain. The team confirmed Fister's status on Saturday afternoon.
Fister sustained the injury during a Minor League game Thursday. He was scheduled to throw 60 pitches, but his outing ended after one inning. It's not known how long Fister will be inactive.
"He's going to be shut down for throwing for about five days and see where he's at, and then start the process of getting back," manager Matt Williams said before Saturday's rained-out exhibition game with the Tigers. "That's the perfect plan, so we'll see how it goes within the next few [days] and then get him going back on his program to get him built back up a little bit. So we'll see how that goes."
Williams couldn't put an exact time frame on Fister's return, saying it could be approximately three weeks to 30 days, but that it depends on when his pitcher gets back to full strength.
Fister hasn't had much of a Spring Training this year as a result of inflammation in his right elbow. He talked on Saturday about his frustration with going to the DL, a situation that was a bit of a surprise.
"It's disheartening, but it's something that necessary, and we've got to take care of it and get it over with," Fister said.
Now that Fister is going on the DL, right-handers Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan will make the team and will be in Washington's rotation. Roark and Jordan both were impressive during Spring Training, but it appeared that one of them would have to start the season with Triple-A Syracuse.
Roark will most likely be the fourth starter, while Jordan will be in the fifth spot. Both players made their Major League debuts last year.
Roark was tremendous the last two months of the season, going 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 14 games. Jordan wasn't bad himself, going 2-2 with a 3.92 ERA in nine starts. His season came to an end on Aug. 16, as the Nats opted to shut him down because of Tommy John surgery he had in 2011.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less