Stammen willing to be reliever for Nationals
Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen will be one of the starters competing for a spot in the rotation next year, but the team has not ruled out putting Stammen in the bullpen.
What role Stammen would have in the bullpen is not known. He would be considered an upgrade if he were in the bullpen. Stammen has experience out of the bullpen, making 20 relief appearances during his Minor League career.
“Whatever they want me to do, I will do,” Stammen said. “I want to go into Spring Training and show them what I can do. They will decide what they want from there. I’ve also proven that I can get guys out and I can get guys out as a reliever.”
Stammen played all season with bone spurs in his right elbow, but he didn’t shut it down until after Aug. 29. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove the spurs a little over a week later.
Stammen, who will be staying in the DC area after the season to rehab the elbow, said he is ahead of schedule and hopes to start throwing a baseball in four weeks.
In 2009, Stammen made 19 starts, going 4-7 with a 5.11 ERA. He wonders what kind of year he would have had if he didn’t have the bone spurs in the elbow.
“Just the way I was going in every start wasn’t how I was accustomed to — compared to how I felt last year,” Stammen said. “I’m going to feel a lot better than I did last year. Throughout the week, I’ll be working on things to get better on the mound rather than just be out there to pitch. I’m optimistic to find out why happens next year.”