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Ross Detwiler is headed to the DL with a lingering oblique injury.
Detwiler appeared to be good to take the mound as planned after completing a bullpen session Saturday with no issues. But while testing himself during a Sunday morning fielding drill, the left-hander felt the oblique tighten up, and team doctors decided not to take any chances.
"He went out and was doing some running and playing catch and complained," manager Davey Johnson said. "Whereas it's better than it was, it's tight, and we didn't feel like it was the best thing. ... We're not going to rush it and exacerbate it at this point."
Detwiler will be placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 16, the day after he last pitched in Los Angeles. He would be eligible to return June 1, one day before his turn in the rotation would come up again (Sunday in Atlanta).
The Nationals already had to find a replacement for Detwiler last week in San Francisco, ultimately choosing to start left-hander Zach Duke and back him up with Craig Stammen. They could choose to do the same thing this time, with no obvious qualified candidates at Class AAA Syracuse and Johnson unwilling to bring Jordan Zimmermann back on short rest.
For now, the Nationals plan to fill Detwiler's roster spot with left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno, who will be promoted from Class AAA Syracuse in time for Monday's series opener against Baltimore. Cedeno, 26, has a 6.00 ERA in 52 career big-league games with the Astros but sports a 1.74 ERA in 10 appearances with Syracuse this season.