5/21/2014 10:24 P.M. ET
Stammen looks back on big league debut
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- On May 21, 2009, right-hander Craig Stammen made his Major League debut against the Pirates at Nationals Park. He pitched six innings and allowed four runs on four hits against the Pirates in a 5-4 victory.
It would have been a much better debut for Stammen if not for a Pirates first baseman named Adam LaRoche, who hit a home run against him that day.
"It was a fun day. I received really good advice from Cat [pitching coach Steve McCatty] when I got called up from Triple-A," Stammen said. "He said, 'Do the exact thing that you did in Triple-A.' I took that advice up here in the big leagues. It was real easy the first couple of innings. It was a day I will never forget. It was a goal that I finally reached. I wasn't really nervous. I was excited."
As it turned out, Stammen, 30, wasn't in Washington's rotation long. After struggling in his first two years in the big leagues, Stammen became a valuable reliever for the Nationals in 2011. He has been used as a long reliever and setup man.
"I thought I would be a starter my whole career, but things happened to where I'm not starting anymore," Stammen said. "I'm always happy to have a uniform on. I'm happy to be on the team. I'm just excited to do what is asked of me."
Asked if he would like to start in the big league again, Stammen said, "Who knows? You always want to increase your role on the team. You want to pitch when the game is on the line. You want to pitch more innings -- whether that's starting or being toward the back end of the bullpen. I'm going to keep doing my part, doing the best I can in the situation that I get put in hopes that maybe down the line I'll get another opportunity to either start or be in the back end of the bullpen."
Nats recall Treinen to start opener vs. Bucs
WASHINGTON -- After their 2-1 loss to the Reds on Wednesday, the Nationals recalled right-hander Blake Treinen from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned reliever Ryan Mattheus to Syracuse.
Treinen will replace left-hander Gio Gonzalez in the rotation and start Thursday's game against the Pirates. Treinen has performed well in his two stints with Washington as a starter and reliever. He is 0-1 with a 0.77 ERA in four games. The last time he pitched for the Nationals was May 6 in an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. In that game, he pitched five innings and allowed three unearned runs.
Mattheus, meanwhile, hasn't allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals this season.
Gio scheduled to play catch at end of the week
WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder, will travel with the Nationals to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night and then play catch on flat ground at PNC Park two days later.
The Nationals placed Gonzalez on the 15-day DL on Sunday after he allowed five runs in three innings against the Mets the previous day.
Gonzalez has been dealing with shoulder problems dating back to his April 23 start against the Angels, but he said it was nothing to be concerned about.
The left-hander is hoping to miss just two starts and return to the mound soon thereafter.
Boone, Livan to represent Nationals at Draft
WASHINGTON -- Bob Boone and Livan Hernandez will represent the Nationals -- who have the 18th overall pick -- during the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on June 5.
Boone, who is currently the vice president of player personnel, was one of the best defensive catchers in the 1970s and '80s. He was drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 1969 First-Year Player Draft.
Hernandez was never drafted, but he signed as a free agent with the Marlins in 1996 and went on to win the '97 World Series MVP Award. Hernandez is arguably the most popular pitcher in Nationals history. He was a workhorse during his time with the Expos/Nats. He was often among the league leaders in innings pitched and was considered the leader of the pitching staff. Hernandez also has the distinction of throwing the first pitch in Nationals history and making an All-Star appearance with the club in 2005.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
• Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is expected to go on a rehab assignment this weekend. It's not known if he will play for Double-A Harrisburg, Class A Hagerstown or Class A Advanced Potomac. LaRoche has been on the disabled list since May 11 because of a right quad strain. Eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, he could rejoin the team the following day against the Marlins.
• Nationals manager Matt Williams is an original member of the D-backs. From 1998-2013, Williams was a player, coach and broadcaster for the organization. So it was natural to seek his reaction to the club's hiring of Tony La Russa as its new chief baseball officer. La Russa will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer as a manager.
"Any time you have the ability to add Tony La Russa to your organization, it's a positive step," Williams said. "The knowledge that is there is beyond measure. I think it's a great move for the Diamondbacks. I'm not exactly sure what his duties will be and I don't even know if that's defined as of yet. Hall of Famer -- that resume speaks for itself. Anybody that comes in contact with him will benefit."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.