SAN DIEGO -- On Friday, a day after allowing the Padres seven runs in two innings of an 8-3 loss, Nationals right-hander Doug Fister was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. To take Fister's place on the roster, Washington recalled right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse.
Manager Matt Williams declined to speculate on how serious Fister's injury is. Fister flew back to Washington on Friday to see Dr. Wiemi Douoguih in the next day or so to get further tests on the forearm.
Fister had to sit through nearly a two-hour rain delay before taking the mound on Thursday, but he said that wasn't a factor in his poor performance. According to Williams, Fister complained of forearm tightness after the second inning. The team didn't want to take a chance after that.
"We decided the he needed to get back, see the doctor and get some tests on [the forearm]," Williams said. "We needed to make a pitching move in that regard anyway. Given our bullpen situation, we needed the length and made that move to get A.J. here."
Williams said that he isn't sure how the rotation would look without Fister. The Nationals have two off-days next week and could go with a four-man rotation, while Cole could come out of the bullpen.
"For today, [Cole] is in the bullpen. We have a number of off-days coming up, so we have options," Williams said. "We'll see how it goes, depending on the next few days. We have Monday off. We have Thursday off. We have an off-day during the next road trip. We'll see how it all plays out."
Cole, 23, is ranked as the Nationals' No. 3 prospect -- and the No. 50 prospect in baseball -- by MLB.com. Cole joins the Nationals for the second time this season. He made his Major League debut on April 28, allowing nine runs (four earned) on nine hits over two innings against the Braves.
It was a different story Friday night during Washington's 10-0 victory. Cole pitched three shutout inning and picked up his first save of the season. He said he hasn't come out of the 'pen since he was 10 years old.
"It's a lot different. But I'm ready to go," Cole said. "I fixed some things [mechanical issues] from the last time I was up here."