There’s only two things to talk about with the Washington Nationals in reality. Stephen Strasburg and injuries. And they aren’t mutually exclusive.
Stephen Strasburg is getting a different type of shutdown, a stint on the disabled list because of a strained muscle in his back.
The future seemed so bleak just last week when the Nats placed yet another player on the Disabled List in Stephen Strasburg, but one week from Wednesday and a handful of games later, that could all be in the past with Washington’s rotation returning to full-strength.
The Nationals said Saturday an MRI showed a slight strain in Stephen Strasburg’s lat instead of his oblique, and the team is hoping the right-hander can avoid the disabled list.
Stephen Strasburg gave everyone a good scare when he was pulled after the second inning of the Nats’ 3-2 victory over the Braves Friday night, but what was feared to be an arm injury turned out to be a “nagging” strained oblique.
Stephen Strasburg had never thrown a pitch in the eighth inning of a big league start until he faced Everth Cabrera on Thursday night.
Stephen Strasburg was at his dominant best in the early going Saturday, retiring 13 of the first 14 Chicago Cubs he faced, seven via strikeout.
Even with Stephen Strasburg off to a notably slow start for a guy expected to be among baseball’s elite, you’d still be hard pressed to a find a GM in the league who wouldn’t have the Nats hurler at the top of his wish list if he became available. But former GM Jim Duquette wouldn’t.
Brian Kenny, former ESPN anchor and current studio host for MLB Network, says he’d have real concern for Stephen Strasburg despite what the Nationals organization is saying about his arm.
Stephen Strasburg looked dreadful at times during his six-inning, six-hit performance against the Braves Monday night, and “tightness in his forearm” was all fans needed to hear to be sent into a full-scale panic, but as Mike Rizzo told Charlie Slowes on Tuesday, “it really was not that big of a deal.”