NEW YORK -- Struggling right-hander Garrett Mock was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse this morning, clearing space on the Nationals' 25-man roster for Livan Hernandez, who starts today's series finale against the Mets.
Mock, who at one point last month was classified as the club's No. 3 starter behind John Lannan and Jason Marquis, barely squeezed his way onto the Opening Day roster as the final member of the rotation despite a less-than-spectacular spring. He didn't help his cause Friday night in his season debut, lasting only 3 2/3 innings while throwing a whopping 84 pitches.
The somewhat-surprising move was made possible because the Nationals don't need five starting pitchers until next Sunday. They'll proceed into the next week with only four starters (Lannan, Marquis, Hernandez and Craig Stammen) and eight relievers.
Because a player optioned to Class AAA must spend at least 10 days in the minors before getting recalled (barring an injury), Mock won't be eligible to return in time for next Sunday's start. The club will need to call up another starter, with Scott Olsen the most likely candidate.
More to come later...
Here's a full recap of all today's roster moves on CSNwashington.com.