Nats place injured Guzman, four others on DL

VIERA, Fla. -- Washington shortstop Cristian Guzman will miss the start of the season with a right shoulder injury after he was put on the 15-day disabled list Monday along with four other Nationals.

Right-handers Luis Ayala, Ryan Drese and Brian Lawrence also went on the DL, as did first baseman/catcher Robert Fick.

Ayala, Washington's top setup man in the bullpen last season, is to have ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow Thursday in Los Angeles and miss the entire season. He was hurt while pitching for Mexico during the World Baseball Classic.

He was 8-7 with a 2.66 ERA in 68 appearances last year before an elbow injury ended his season. Ayala had surgery in October to remove a bone spur in the elbow.

The Nationals are still waiting to see whether Guzman will need
surgery on his throwing shoulder, which has bothered him for much of spring training. The hope has been that with rest and rehab work he could avoid an operation.

Royce Clayton takes over Guzman's spot in the starting lineup.

Lawrence, a starter who came over from San Diego in the offseason trade that sent third baseman Vinny Castilla to the Padres, was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder after his first bullpen session of the spring. He could be out for the season.

Drese has a right shoulder injury, while Fick had right elbow surgery this month.