Concerned for future, Nats place Patterson on DL

ST. LOUIS -- Washington Nationals pitcher John Patterson,
who skipped his last start due to a right forearm strain, was
placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.

Patterson, 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts, has been the
Nationals' most consistent starter. Manager Frank Robinson wants
him to be healthy the next time he pitches.

On Thursday, Robinson said the team had no plans to place
Patterson on the DL. Since then, Robinson said he and general
manager Jim Bowden decided it was best.

The move was retroactive to April 22, the day after Patterson's
last outing against the Braves when he gave up three runs on five
hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Patterson is scheduled throw in an extended spring training game
Wednesday in Viera, Fla., and then is expected to make a start for
Class A Potomac May 8 after which he'll be re-evaluated.

"Then we'll have him for the rest of the season 100 percent,"
Robinson said. "This is as good a time as any to try to get him
well. We've got to get him healthy."

Robinson said Patterson accepted the decision.

"We told him we were thinking about his career," Robinson
said. "He was in complete agreement."

The Nationals activated right-hander Zach Day, claimed off
waivers on Wednesday from the Rockies. Day threw in the bullpen
about three hours before the Nationals played the Cardinals and
Robinson said he'd likely be the starter on Sunday in the final
game of a four-game series.

That slot has been undetermined due to injuries in the rotation.
Mike O'Connor made his major league debut Thursday night, filling
in for Patterson.

Day, 27, rejoins the Nationals after being traded to Colorado in
a deal for outfielder Preston Wilson last July. Day was 1-2 with a
10.80 ERA in three starts for the Rockies this year before being
designated for assignment on April 21.

Day turned his back on Robinson after being removed from a game
last May. But the manager said there are no hard feelings.

"I'm not a guy to talk about what's happened before," Robinson
said. "He's coming back, he's here and I judge him on what he

"It's not in the back of my mind and I hope he does the same
things. This is a fresh start for him."

Day has been hampered by muscle spasms in the back of his
shoulder, but Robinson said he threw "free and easy" in the
bullpen. He said he'd slot Day for Sunday if he felt fine on