DENVER -- Just because there's no game tonight doesn't mean there isn't news to report from the Nationals clubhouse, so let's get right to it...
-- Jason Marquis had successful surgery today in Cincinnati to remove bone chips from his right elbow. The team is now saying it will be eight weeks before he's ready to pitch in a major-league game again. General manager Mike Rizzo remains confident Marquis will come back and pitch the way the club expected when it signed him to a two-year, $15 million contract, insisting the right-hander's struggles in his three April starts were strictly a product of the injury. "I'm a big track record guy," Rizzo said. "I always believed he was going to revert back to what he's always been. And this has kind of verified it." Based on the eight-week timeframe, Marquis would be due to rejoin the Nationals' rotation in mid-July. "It's like making a trade," Rizzo said. "You get an All-Star at the trade deadline, a guy who pitched in the All-Star Game last year. You get him two months from now, and I think it will be a big boost for the club."
-- John Lannan said his elbow emerged from last night's start feeling "fine." He played catch, just as he would the day after any start. He'll throw a bullpen session tomorrow and is scheduled to start Tuesday in St. Louis. Lannan believes the only reason his elbow/forearm tightened up in the fifth inning last night was due to the combination of the cold weather and the Nats' long top of the fifth while scoring four runs. "It just feels better today than it did last night, which is good," he said. "It sucks that it had to happen. But hopefully with the warmer weather, it won't happen again." Lannan is confident this won't be a lingering issue, that once he pitches in better conditions again, this will all be forgotten: "If it's 90 degrees and this thing flares up again, then we need to talk."
-- Josh Willingham was not in tonight's original lineup after "tweaking" his groin running to first base during last night's game. Manager Jim Riggleman said the left fielder should be able to play one of tomorrow's two games.
-- Ivan Rodriguez also was not in the original lineup tonight as Riggleman sought to give his catcher a break after a long game last night in nasty conditions. Pudge will probably catch tomorrow's opener, though, with Wil Nieves catching the nightcap. Either way, Riggleman plans to make a concerted effort to give Rodriguez a few more games off moving forward. He's on pace at the moment to play in 128 games by season's end, far more than the team prefers. Riggleman would like him to finish more in the 112-115 range.
-- Mike Morse is down to his final days on rehab at Class AAA Syracuse. The outfielder must be activated off the 15-day DL by Tuesday. Rizzo said Morse (who is hitting .261 with two homers and seven RBI in 13 games on his rehab assignment) will rejoin the Nationals' roster, meaning someone else has to go. Willy Taveras: All eyes are on you.