WASHINGTON — Any dreams of having a healthy Stephen Strasburg ready to rejoin the staff if the Washington Nationals advance to the NLCS have likely been dashed, as the ace ended his bullpen session early with “discomfort.”
“Discomfort” can mean many things, and manager Dusty Baker did his best to downplay the situation until the medical staff knows more.
“It’s no thing,” he told the media. “He was throwing the ball pretty good; very good, actually. But we said if he felt anything, then just shut it down.”
Around pitch 31 of 35, Strasburg felt enough to shut it down early. Even if the Nationals elect not to end his season, his timetable may not match the team’s.
Even before this bullpen session, there were questions of whether or not he could increase his stamina enough to earn a roster spot.
In his bullpen session last week, he threw only fastballs and changeups, and it’s unclear if his breaking pitches would even be available. Nothing was thrown at 100 percent effort.
One bit of good news is that he took the field on Tuesday afternoon, throwing on flat ground and stretching his arm out past 90 feet.
“I’m working hard every single day to hopefully be in a position to pitch,” he told the media after his bullpen session last week. “I think for my career and the next seven years hopefully with this ball club, I just want to be right, and hopefully the program gets me right in some capacity while we’re still playing [this year].
“I can’t look that far ahead. I think I just got to keep staying the course and not do something silly that will maybe give me a setback.”