WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Jason Marquis was happy with his bullpen session before Saturday's game. The next step is a rehabilitation assignment at a location yet to be determined.
"He's had a couple bullpen sessions. I'm not sure when, but the likelihood is he'll go out on a rehab here in the next four or five days," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "He'll go pitch somewhere and get on a schedule to get back here and join us."
Marquis followed about 10 minutes of long toss in right field with an air-it-out bullpen session under the watchful eyes of pitching coach Steve McCatty, with outfielder Willy Taveras standing in as a batter who didn't swing. Riggleman caught the tail end of the morning workout.
"It went well, so hopefully we can get in a game situation soon and test it out, make sure all my stuff in right," Marquis said. "I'm ready to go. It's been a little slower than I'd like, but maybe it'll be better in the long run."
Marquis was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 21, retroactive to April 19, after loose bodies were discovered in his pitching elbow. In his last start, on April 18 against Milwaukee, Marquis didn't retire a hitter, yielding four hits, walking a batter and hitting two in a forgettable outing in which he was charged with seven runs.
Marquis got a cortisone injection and was told not to throw for seven to 10 days, part of a conservative approach the Nationals took in hopes of avoiding surgery. Marquis, who signed a two-year, $15 million deal to anchor the rotation, thinks he's delivered on his promise that he's a quick healer.
"I'm ready to go," he said.
Marquis said his destination really isn't as important as the opportunity to face live hitters.
"As long as it's a game-type situation where I have to work hitters, throw all my pitches and make sure they're fine tuned so I'll be ready when I get back here," said Marquis, who is 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA in three starts.