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Washburn Washed Out For the Season?

Considering that Jarrod Washburn couldn't pitch more than one inning last night because of his damaged left knee, it's not much of a surprise that's Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that Washburn's season might be over.

Here's a post-game quote:

"It's definitely not getting better," [Washburn] said. "All I'm doing is hurting the team by going out there. We've tried everything. I don't know if there's more that we can try. Nothing's worked."

Lynn Henning explains the problem a bit more in today's Detroit News. Washburn's knee had been sore previously (though MRI exams found no structural damage). But last night, it actually swelled up. That hadn't happened before. According to Washburn, the pain is on the inside of his knee.

Trainer Kevin Rand recommended to Jim Leyland that Washburn be taken out after that first inning, wanting to prevent further injury not just to his knee, but possibly to his arm. I'm betting Leyland was already thinking the same thing after watching him limp around, though.

Morosi mentioned in his report, however, that the Tigers were indeed "fully aware" of Washburn's knee problems when they made the trade for him.

Leyland made something of an understatement in his post-game presser, saying "Right now, it doesn't appear that he's pitchable." Washburn himself says he has "no guess" as to whether he could pitch again, adding that the Tigers probably wouldn't want him out there like this.

So if Washburn is finished for the year, who will replace him?

Zach Miner isn't an option, as Leyland considers him "too valuable in the bullpen." (Leyland loves having that sinkerballer available in relief.) It might come down to either Nate Robertson or Armando Galarraga again, depending on who's healthy enough to pitch.

If Robertson's groin feels better by the time Washburn's next turn comes up (Sunday in Minnesota), he could get the call. Galarraga's elbow is still bothering him, however, which is why he wasn't used last night.