Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained lat muscle, William Ladson of MLB.com is reporting. After dealing with elbow inflammation early in camp, Fister appeared set to join the rotation on time when he suffered the lat issue earlier this week.
The move to place Fister on the DL comes as little surprise, as the Nationals have already kept both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan with the big-league club. Those two will serve as the starting pitchers behind the imposing trio of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann. Meantime, Roark and Jordan will likely be pitching to see who gets to stay in the rotation while Fister is on the shelf.
Fister, 30, came to the Nationals in the offseason in a trade that sent Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray to the Tigers. He was 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA (115 ERA+), 1.31 WHIP and 159 strikeouts in 208 2/3 innings last season for the AL Central champs.
There hasn't yet been a timetable mentioned concerning a possible return date for Fister.