If you had asked me which player would be one of the brighest spots on the Nationals season, I probably would have listed a couple dozen players before I came to Ross Ohlendorf's name. None the less, the pitcher known as "Dorf" has filled many roles for the Nats this season, including long reliever and spot starter. He's posted an awesome 1.85 ERA and 2.89 FIP this season from the bullpen and in his spot starts, and he's amassed 0.6 WAR in just 10 games. Unfortunately for his Ohlendorf and his resurgent season, he's been placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
The injury, which will keep Ohlendorf on the DL at least through August 15th, comes at a time when he may be extradordinarily valuable for the Nats. Recently, the Nats have announced that Ross Detwiler may not come back this season with a herniated disk in his back. Further, on July 24th, the Nats said that starter Taylor Jordan had just 20-30 innings remaining this season before he reaches his innings limit as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
The #Nationals today placed RHP Ross Ohlendorf on the 15-Day DL, (retro to 8/1) and recalled LHP Xavier Cedeno from Syracuse.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 4, 2013
In his last start, Jordan threw six innings, which means that he likely has only 14-24 innings left this season. He starts today, so if he throws a minimum of five innings in each of his next three starts, including today, he will hit that limit just as Ohlendorf is eligible to come off the DL. Ohlendorf was a virtual lock to take this rotation spot, but if he's not ready to come off the DL on the 15th, the Nats could be in a spot of trouble.
There will be time to talk about that in about 15 days, but Ohlendorf's presence in the bullpen will certainly be missed. Hopefully for the Nats it's just a brief setback, and he'll be back in two weeks.