Nats’ Stammen willing to start — if needed
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said there is a possibility that reliever Craig Stammen could start Sunday’s game against the Brewers, and Stammen said he willing to take the ball if needed.
Stammen hasn’t started a game since late last year when he was pitching for Triple A Syracuse. When he was returned to the big leagues last September, Stammen worked out of the bullpen and allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings.
The Nationals need a starter because Johnson doesn’t want to use Jordan Zimmermann on short rest. Zimmermann pitched the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
“I’ll do whatever they tell me to do. That’s what I am and what I have to do. If he asked me to start, I definitely take the ball,” Stammen said. “I’ve done it before so it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve started a game. But it’s been a while. So I guess It will be a little exciting for me. It will be fun.”
Stammen has been a valuable reliever for Washington this season. He has appeared in 53 games and has a 2.39 ERA. Johnson has used Stammen in every situation as a reliever except for closing games.
“It has been a good season thus far,” Stammen said. “We really didn’t know coming in how it was going to go. I pitched as well as I could have pitched last September. It kind of carried over this season – a lot of confidence. It has gone well.
“I like pitching as much as possible and Davey has put me in good spots for me to succeed. I’ve done as well as I good. I try to help this bullpen as much as possible.”