Doolittle won't be rushed back after sim game

Scherzer's next start pushed to Monday; Rodriguez will pitch Sunday

August 31st, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: Sean Doolittle #62 of the Washington Nationals looks on after pitching against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on July 06, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Nationals closer , on the disabled list since July 10, threw a 15-pitch simulated game Friday as he attempts to recover from a left toe injury.

"I was very happy with it," Doolittle said. "I think it's another step in the right direction after the last two side sessions that I've thrown. It was another good day. I was a little bit inconsistent with my execution, but I was really happy with how my foot felt."

Doolittle and Nationals manager Dave Martinez said the reliever would toss another sim game either Sunday or Monday, but that they wouldn't rush the All-Star closer back into action before he was ready.

"I just want to get back with the guys," Doolittle said. "I really want to be able to contribute down the stretch and be able to go back about my daily routines and my business as usual. I miss competing. I miss being out there in the bullpen with the guys. Regardless of what the standings say, we still have a month left, and I'm excited to get back out there."

Scherzer moves to Monday 

The Nationals are making a minor adjustment to their rotation, moving Max Scherzer's scheduled start Sunday to Monday against the Cardinals and sliding rookie into the series finale against the Brewers.

The team wanted to give Scherzer an extra day of rest and discussed the change with the veteran, who signed off on the plan.

"We're just giving him a day," Martinez said. "After talking to [Scherzer], it would be better to give him another day and get Jefry back in the rotation. Max is really good with it."