That means James Shields is slated to start on Wednesday in Seattle and Tyson Ross will get his start on Thursday night when the Nationals open a four-game series against the Padres at Petco Park. Ian Kennedy was already the noted starter on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
Black said he wasn't necessarily skipping Despaigne, who was pelted for eight runs on 10 hits in five innings during his last start in Thursday night's 11-0 loss to the D-backs.
"Skip? No. I might push him back," Black said. "Pushed back is a little different than skipped. Skipped means we'd have to put somebody else in there. Make it push back. Yeah, a little push back."
Despaigne could very well be replaced. He has been the all-purpose backup starter in the first six weeks of the season, subbing when Kennedy left the home opener because of a hamstring strain and went on the disabled list. In his last start, Despaigne filled in for Brandon Morrow, on the DL with right-shoulder inflammation.
The right-handed Despaigne, who lost a spirited spring battle for the fifth rotation spot to Morrow, began the season with wins in his two starts subbing for Kennedy. But in his last two outings -- the first in relief on April 28 at home against the Astros -- Despaigne has given up 12 earned runs on 14 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
His turn won't come around again until next Saturday against the Astros, and by then, anything can happen.
"When will he pitch again? When? Man, we still haven't played Seattle yet," Black said. "For James, it's his regular day. And Tyson the same thing on Thursday. After that, we'll let you know."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.