Stephen Strasburg To Pitch Sunday Vs. Astros, Plus Two More Home Starts

Following an outstanding performance in his first game back to the majors, Stephen Strasburg will start three more times at home, beginning with Sunday against Houston.

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Stephen Strasburg's September Pitching Schedule Laid Out, First Four Starts At Home

Stephen Strasburg's pitching schedule for the month of September was laid out by Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson in a pre-game press conference with reporters Friday. Strasburg has already made one start, and Johnson said that his next three starts will occur at home.

Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

The Nationals have planned Stephen Strasburg's scheduled so he will make his four starts back from Tommy John surgery at Nationals Park, at which point he will either make one road start on the season's final day or conclude his major league season.

Those four starts are as follows.

Strasburg could then start on the road against the Marlins on September 28 on four days rest if so inclined. That decision would ultimately be up to the Nationals.

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Stephen Strasburg On His Return To The Major Leagues

Stephen Strasburg pitched in a major league game for the first time in over a year on Tuesday, but if you didn't know that, you might have thought he was pitching effectively in the major leagues this whole time. Strasburg allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings while striking out four Dodgers. But his stuff looked electric, and his location looked better than I would have expected in his first start back. You can find video of Strasburg's reaction to his start here, but we'll provide a transcript.

It was awesome. I mean it felt like such a long time since I've been able to go out there and play with these guys up here. Going out there, and not much has changed. Still 60 feet six inches.

Strasburg has always been a relatively unassuming character, so it's not surprising to see him downplay the whole significance of this. But he has been working extremely hard to get back here and must be revealed to be back on a major league mound. But how about the stuff?

It was pretty good. They were swinging the bat early, I was able to throw the ball down in the zone and get some weak contact. There's always room for improvement, curveball was kind of hit or miss, and that's to be expected. So I'm just going to try and work on that for next time.

Here is my analysis of how Strasburg pitched. the fastball looked good in terms of velocity, and I as pretty amazed with his ability to keep it down in the zone when he wanted to. The new two-seam fastball was terrifyingly good, particularly in one instance where he ran it inside against MVP Candidate Matt Kemp and forced his knees to buckle. That pitch was a called strike, at 97 mph. The curveball had good movement but needed better location. The changeup was devastating. Strasburg isn't all the way back, but it is pretty scary to think how much he could improve considering he just gave up only two hits in five innings.

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Stephen Strasburg Pitches Five Spectacular Innings In First Game Back From Tommy John Surgery

The Washington Nationals couldn't have asked for more from starter Stephen Strasburg who just finished up in his first game back from Tommy John surgery. The young smokethrower on Tuesday night sometimes made the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers look foolish, almost as if he never left the mound for 368 days like he did. With a five inning performance he is in line to garner the win Tuesday night as the Nationals lead the Dodgers 3-0.

Strasburg gave up two hits, zero runs, issued no free passes and struck out four. He threw some impressive 80 mph curveballs and 90 mph change ups that caught a couple Blue Boys swinging and blew up batters with a fastball which peaked at 99 mph. He pitched 56 pitches, 40 for strikes. No. 37 averaged just 11.2 pitches per inning Tuesday night, fewer than in any of his 12 starts last season.

The Nationals ace looked great. He went after batters, had great control, his pitch speed was searing. For now it looks like all systems are go. Natstown is going to be quite the scary place for visiting teams when manager Davey Johnson gives Strasburg the green light to completely unleash the red. Strasburg was on a 60-pitch limit.

Strasburg pitched despite really stormy weather that has covered most of the East Coast since yesterday.

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Stephen Strasburg Returns To Majors As Nationals Take On Dodgers

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his return to the majors on Tuesday when the Nationals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. That is, of course, if the weather cooperates.

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Stephen Strasburg Will Make Four Home September Starts For Nationals, According To Report

The Washington Nationals organization was extremely careful in managing pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg's minor league recovery, so it should come as no surprise that the team will also keep Strasburg in the best possible situations when he returns to the big leagues on September 6. William Ladson of MLB.com tweeted that Strasburg will make four September starts, all at home. 

#Nats RHP Stephen Strasburg will make four starts during the rest of the season. All of them will be made at Nats Park. #MLBless than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

Strasburg made all six of his minor league appearances in the home ballparks of National's affiliates, so this certainly makes sense from both a baseball perspective and also a revenue perspective. As has been previously noted in this space, the Nationals have no qualms charging quite a bit more when Strasburg takes the hill than any other member of the Washington rotation.

Pending any game cancellations, Strasburg would start on September 6, 11 and 16, with his fourth and final start most likely occurring September 23 or 24 against Atlanta.

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Stephen Strasburg Dominates In Six Innings In Final Rehab Start

Yup, Stephen Strasburg is ready to return to the majors. The Washington Nationals' phenom was even more dominant than usual in his final rehab start for Double-A Harrisburg, firing six scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. It was the clearest sign that he is fully recovered from last September's Tommy John surgery.

Strasburg, pitching against the Portland Sea Dogs, made quick work of all his opponents until the sixth inning. He retired the first 14 batters in order, striking out three before allowing the 15th hitter to reach on a hit-by-pitch. He allowed a leadoff double in the sixth inning, but was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a lineout. All in all, he threw 71 pitches, 55 for strikes.

Strasburg is expected to make his return to the Nationals on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park.

For more on Strasburg's rehab start, visit Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg Will Return To Washington Nationals On September 6, According To Report

It looks like September 6 is the day Strasmas Part II will occur. Barring a setback, Stephen Strasburg will make one more minor league start on Thursday, then get called up to the majors to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers next Tuesday, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

September 6 will be nearly 12 months to the day that Strasburg first underwent Tommy John surgery. The recovery timeline for said injury is 12-18 months, but Strasburg consistently hit every marker on his rehab to return healthy at the low end of that timeline.

Strasburg has been largely impressive in his rehab starts, save for one really bad performance for Hagerstown. He hurled five scoreless innings in his most recent rehab start for AAA-Syracuse. His start on Thursday will be at AA-Harrisburg.

Strasburg will ultimately replace Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation. Zimmermann reached his post-Tommy John surgery innings limit in last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

For more on Strasburg and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg Lined Up To Pitch For Harrisburg Senators Thursday Night

The Washington Nationals are going to let pitcher Stephen Strasburg finish his tour de force of the Nationals affiliates and possibly his rehab starts before heading back to the big team in Washington on Thursday. Strasburg is scheduled to pitch for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators Thursday, Sept. 1st at 7:00 P.M. against the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox affiliate) in Harrisburg.

Bad weather, natural disaster or acts of God aside, this might be Strasburg's last rehab start before returning to the Majors. Strasburg has had five previous rehab starts around the Nationals affiliates as he recovers and gains strength after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The phenom is scheduled to throw six innings or 75 to 80 pitches, whichever comes first. If indeed Harrisburg is the last stop in his rehabilitation, his schedule and the Nationals home schedule seem to line up nicely around September 6th for a possible return to Nationals Park.

An added bonus to the night will be catcher Ivan Rodriguez is also rehabbing in Harrisburg and the possibility of the old, veteran catcher catching the new fire thrower is high. Top offensive prospect Bryce Harper is also playing for Harrisburg currently, but is on the 7-Day DL with a hamstring injury.

Fans in attendance will also get to enjoy a bevy of promotions including Thirsty Thursday, Penn State Night and a performance by Cowboy Monkey.

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Stephen Strasburg Throws Five Perfect Innings In Fifth Rehab Start

After a couple rough rehab starts the past couple weeks it would be easy for one to feel uneasy about Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg possibly making a return to the Majors sometime in September. On Saturday night the fireball throwing righty might have silenced all critics and concerns in Syracuse, NY.

Strasburg went five innings giving up two hits, one run, no walks and struck out seven. He pitched five perfect innings and came out to a roaring ovation in the sixth, but immediately surrendered back-to-back singles to start the inning and Syracuse manager Randy Knorr pulled him. He was relieved by pitcher Craig Stammen who ran into trouble and allowed one of the men Strasburg put on base to score. He pitched 64 pitches total with 47 of them being strikes. He started 10 of 17 batters he faced with strikes. All seven strike outs were swinging.

It was a magnificent performance mired only by the pair of sixth inning singles and the earned run. The Chiefs are currently tied with the Rochester Red Wings 1-1.

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Game On For Stephen Strasburg's Fifth Rehab Start In Syracuse On Saturday

The East Coast has been rocked with the oddest occurrences Mother Nature could throw at this week. First it was earthquakes earlier in the week and on Saturday a Category One hurricane named Irene is supposed to pound the East Coast and cancel numerous sporting events up and down the coast. However, another storm is brewing that can't be stopped and everyone is invited to take part of it.

Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg is in Syracuse, New York preparing for his fifth rehab start and it is still scheduled to start on time regardless of the elements. it does not look like the incoming hurricane will be effecting the Syracuse weather and Syracuse Chief fan's good time. Strasburg is scheduled to throw 70 to 80 pitches against the Rochester Red Wings.

Rumor has it this may be Strasburg second to last rehab start before returning to the Majors. Storm Strasburg has been following Naitonals affiliates home games and after Saturday's Syracuse start, he could possibly land with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators who have a home game during the time around Strasburg's next turn.

After that he could approach Washington D.C. as a hurricane of awesome, perhaps as soon as Sept. 6th.

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Stephen Strasburg Moves Up To Syracuse For Fifth Rehab Start This Saturday

Get ready, Syracuse, New York.

Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg is headed your way this Saturday to take the mound for the Triple-A affiliate Syracuse Chiefs according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Kilgore got the goods from Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

Stephen Strasburg's next start will be Saturday at Class AAA Syracuse, Davey says.less than a minute ago via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Unlike never donning a Low-A Hagerstown Suns and Single-A Potomac Nationals jersey in his initial trip through the minors in 2010, Strasburg is familiar with Syracuse, how things are run there and what sort of competition he will be facing. In 2010 Strasburg pitched six games going 4-1 with a 1.08 ERA to much fan fare with the Chiefs before being called up to the big club.

It is just another step in his rehab, but one gets the feeling his return is right on the horizon.

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Stephen Strasburg Starts Shaky, But Finishes Strong In Fourth Rehab Start

With perhaps the smallest crowd on hand for a rehab start of his so far, but the large crowd of Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner and General Manager Mike Rizzo on hand, pitcher Stephen Strasburg completed his fourth rehab start since Tommy John surgery for the Hagerstown Suns. He showed much improvement from his last start where he only lasted 1 2/3 innings and gave up five runs.

The Nationals phenom went three innings giving up two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one batter, hit a batter and struck out six. Throughout his time in the game he topped out at 98 mph throwing 60 pitches (five less than the expected 65 limit) with 37 of them going for strikes. From reports coming from the game his velocity looked good and he was strong, but took some time to look truly sharp.

The first batter Strasburg faced was Jurickson Profar, one of the top shortstop prospects in the minors and Strasburg plugged him with a pitch. In Profar's next at-bat Strasburg struck him out after getting Profar to foul off four times. Strasburg also allowed four stolen bases to the Hickory Crawdads.

Certainly far from a perfect outing, but it was a lot better than his last start and make the Nationals and Nats fans breath a little more sigh of relief.

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Stephen Strasburg's Third Rehab Start Lasts Just 1 2/3 Innings

Stephen Strasburg's third rehab start did not go well, to say the least. The Nationals' phenom, returning to low-Single-A Harrisburg after pitching in Potomac, was lit up by Lexington, departing after just one and two-thirds innings.

Overall, Strasburg surrendered five runs on four hits with two walks and one wild pitch in that span. Twenty-nine of Strasburg's pitches were strikes, but only a few were swings and misses. Most were either fouled or hit. Strasburg did strike out three hitters, but also allowed the first four runners to reach base and threw a total of 33 strikes in the first inning.

It remains unclear whether this is a legitimate setback for Strasburg or it's just a bad start. The latter seems more likely, seeing as Strasburg appears to be healthy even after getting lit up. It remains to be seen what happens next for the young phenom still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

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Stephen Strasburg Could Make First Start For Nationals On September 2

It's just a guess, but Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson put out a possible timeline that would have Stephen Strasburg making his first start for the Washington Nationals on September 2. Speaking to reporters before the Nationals' game against the Cincinnati Reds, Johnson suggested that Strasburg could slip into Jordan Zimmermann's spot in the Nationals' rotation.

Via Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times:

Johnson estimated Zimmermann makes his next three starts on Aug. 18, 23 and 28. Strasburg, barring any setbacks in his recovery from the same injury, would take the next turn.That would give him two rehabilitation starts after tonight's stint of three innings or 50 pitches.

It's just a guess, so don't go buying those tickets for September 2 just yet. But given the Nationals' stated desire to shut Zimmermann down once he reaches his innings limit, it's certainly a plausible scenario for Strasburg. Keep your calendars open for that date.

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Stephen Strasburg To Make Third Rehab Start In Hagerstown On Wednesday

Stephen Strasburg will make his third rehab start in the same place he made his first rehab start: Hagerstown. The Hagerstown Suns have announced that Strasburg "is scheduled" to return to pitch in Hagerstown on Wednesday. The Suns are scheduled to play the Lexington Legends at 7:05 p.m. at home.

The return to Hagerstown was widely expected, because the Nationals had expressed the desire of having Strasburg pitch in a home environment. The only minor-league affiliates at home this week were Hagerstown and AAA-Syracuse, and Strasburg probably isn't ready to pitch in AAA yet.

Strasburg will progressively raise his workload, throwing four innings and/or 60 pitches this time according to Byron Kerr of MASN. Strasburg threw two innings in his first rehab start in Hagerstown and three innings in his second rehab start in Potomac.

For more on Strasburg's return and the Nationals in general check out SB Nation's Nationals blog Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg, A Birthday And Remembering Why We Love Baseball

Our Nationals' correspondent was set to celebrate a quiet 31st birthday by attending the Potomac Nationals' game on Friday. Then, Stephen Strasburg decided to drop in and show why he is the best present of all.

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Stephen Strasburg Impressive At Potomac In Second Rehab Start

The Stephen Strasburg Rehab Tour had another successful stop, this time in Potomac for the Washington Nationals Class A affiliate. Strasburg pitched three innings against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, throwing 33 pitches in those frames, 26 for strikes. Reports indicated his velocity was in the high 90s all night, at times hitting 98 and 99mph. No balls left the infield against Strasburg, and he struck out five batters against no walks.

Strasburg struck out one batter in the first inning, and induced two ground ball outs, while hitting 98mph on the gun. He upped the ante, striking out two Pelicans batters in the second, one on a curveball on a night when he threw very few off speed pitches. He finished his evening with a dominant third, striking out two hitters and getting a groundball out on just eight pitches.

Nationals management has to be pleased with this outing, coming off Strasburg's first rehab start at Class A Hagerstown, in which the fireballing young righty threw 1 2/3 innings, striking out three while allowing one run. The team has yet to announce when and where his next rehab start will take place.

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Stephen Strasburg To Make Next Rehab Start At Single-A Potomac

Fresh off a two-inning performance in his first rehab start at low Single-A Hagerstown, Stephen Strasburg's next assignment will be to do the same one level up. The team has announced that Strasburg will make his next rehab start in Potomac, home of the Nationals' higher Single-A team.

Strasburg threw in a side session in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, and it was widely expected that Potomac would be the next move. He threw one and two-thirds innings in his first rehab start for Hagerstown on Sunday, striking out four while surrendering a home run. He felt good afterwards, so the decision was made to move him up one level and have him pitch for Potomac.

The Potomac Nationals will face the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Pfitzner Stadium in Prince William County, Va. at 7:05 on Friday. The team has had issues with the field conditions at time this season, but obviously they aren't enough of a concern to have Strasburg skip the level.

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Stephen Strasburg's Return Means Washington Nationals Will Have To Change Game Plan

Stephen Strasburg changes the way the game is played, and he will also change the game in Washington. The Nationals need to prepare to support him.

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Stephen Strasburg Says He Felt 'Strong' In First Rehab Start

Stephen Strasburg's first rehab start for Hagerstown since having Tommy John surgery last September ended with him giving up a home run and two other hits. However, the Nationals' phenom said after the game that he felt really good about how he pitched and how his arm felt. Via Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times:

Strasburg: "I felt very strong out there. I'm right where I want to be physically."

That's obviously very good news for Nationals fans hoping he can return to where he was last season. He even threw a few curveballs, and admitted he was surprised with how well he threw them, though most of his 31 pitches were fastballs. He added that he has yet to experience a setback at any point during the process.

Strasburg would likely pitch again on Friday, seeing as it's five days from Sunday. It's not immediately clear whether he'll pitch at a different level of the minors.

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Stephen Strasburg's Rehab Start Includes Four Strikeouts In 1 2/3 Innings

Stephen Strasburg's first rehab start in Single-A Hagerstown since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September of 2010 was certainly not perfect. He allowed three hits and a home run during that time and had to be pulled before the second inning ended because he was approaching the 35-pitch limit the Nationals specified.

However, Nationals fans can console themselves with this: at least Strasburg was throwing strikes. Of the 31 pitches he hurled, 25 were for strikes. All four of the outs he had were strikeouts, including the first two hitters in the first inning. His velocity was also outstanding, as he consistently touched the upper 90s and got all the way up to 98 at some point.

Eventually, Strasburg will need to figure out how to not pitch in such a way where he's vulnerable to the long ball. However, for now, he was certainly under control, which isn't something you can always say of pitchers.

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Stephen Strasburg's Rehab Start Ends After 1 2/3 Innings, Home Run Surrendered

To Washington Nationals fans it felt like 30 years since they last saw Stephen Strasburg on a mound to throwing to live batters. On Sunday Strasburg threw his first rehab start with the Hagerstown Suns and it was done in 30 pitches exactly. While Strasburg's first start was not perfect, it went as well as one could expect for a guy who hasn't pitched in almost over a year and coming back from Tommy John surgery.

The future Nationals ace went 1 2/3 innings giving up three hits, one run, no walks and struck out four. He threw 30 pitches exactly and 24 of those were strikes. The radar gun was picking up Strasburg throwing between 96-98 mph. The only ding to his performance was giving up a solo home run to Jacob Realmuto of the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins affliliate).

Next up for No. 37? Only GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals think tank knows, but he is expected to continue to rehab in the minors with a possible call up to Single-A Potomac or Double-A Harrisburg in the near future.


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Stephen Strasburg's Rehab Start Begins With Two Strikeouts In First Inning

The wait is finally over.

Stephen Strasburg is back on a mound pitching to live batters in Hagerstown, MD against the Greensboro Grasshoppers and his first inning of rehab work went beautifully. The Washington Nationals hurler struck out two, gave up one single that snuck up the middle and got a ground out. Strasburg was recorded throwing around 97 mph with him touching the 98 mph mark once.

It is a big day in Hagerstown as Municipal Stadium is packed and various credentialed media is in attendance (including ESPN) to see the Nationals phenom begin his path back to the Majors. Strasburg is expected to pitch at least one more inning or pitch somewhere between 20-30 pitches. It is unknown how long Strasburg will be in Hagerstown and in rehab in total, but it is projected he will be pitching sometime in September if all goes well.

For more on Stephen Strasburg's first rehab start and the Washington Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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Pudge Rodriguez Will Not Catch For Stephen Strasburg On Sunday

It is a little over half an hour away from Stephen Strasburg's first rehab start with the Hagerstown Suns and the news coming down the wire is that Strasburg will be throwing his one to two innings without the benefit of having another rehabbing National catching for him.

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez was supposed to be rehabbing with Hagerstown at the same time and was scheduled to possibly catch for Strasburg, but the Washington Nationals decided against it citing that Rodriguez has been rushing his recovery from a strained right oblique muscle. His desire and passion to rehab and return to the field "have been more of a hindrance than a boon to his recovery."

Rodriguez has not played in a game since July 6th. The 39-year old catcher and potential future Hall of Famer has left Hagerstown to rehab his oblique elsewhere and at a slower pace. He is 158 hits away from becoming the first catcher to reach 3,000.

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Stephen Strasburg To Throw Two Innings For Hagerstown On Sunday

The Washington Nationals and all of Natstown are anxiously awaiting the return and rehab of pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg's first stop will be with the Nationals Low-A affiliate the Hagerstown Suns and his first confirmed rehab start with Hagerstown is Sunday. There is excitement and a tad bit of nervousness to see how the young phenom has progressed in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. 

Strasburg will be on a short, strict leash as is apparent by the following tweet from the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore and he will begin his rehab only tossing two innings Sunday:

Stephen Strasburg slated to throw two innings Sunday, per a release from Hagerstown that also contains copious "media guidelines."less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

If you are interested in amusing yourself over these "media guidelines" then head over to Twitter and search the hashtag

Strasburg will be set to go in Hagerstown on Sunday at 4:05 PM against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

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Stephen Strasburg First Rehab Start Is Officially Sunday In Hagerstown

It's official: Stephen Strasburg will make his first rehabilitation start on Sunday. Strasburg will pitch for Single-A Hagerstown at 4:05 p.m., his first real game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details.

Stephen Strasburg threw a side session without issue this afternoon, which allowed the Nationals to finalize the date of his first minor league rehab start in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Strasburg will start Sunday at Class A Hagerstown, the most significant milestone yet as he nears a return to the major leagues. First pitch is 4:05 p.m.

The Nationals' minor league affiliates' seasons end in early September, which should give Strasburg the chance to return to the majors if all goes well. It remains unclear when that first start would be, but early September seems like a good guess.

For more on Strasburg's return and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg Likely To Pitch In Hagerstown On Sunday

If all goes well with a side session on Thursday, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will make his first rehab appearance this season on Sunday. The appearance would be the first for Strasburg in a professional game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. 

The 23-year-old right-handed starter would pitch in Hagerstown for one of the Nats' Single-A affiliates. According to CSN Washington reporter Mark Zuckerman, the start would only be one or two innings. Washington Post reporter James Wagner tweeted that Nationals manager Davey Johnson wants to examine Strasburg's side work before putting him in any kind of a game: 

"#Nationals Manager Davey Johnson says that if Strasburg's side work goes well tomorrow, they'll be looking at a Hagerstown start on the 7th."

Strasburg could end up throwing to Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who might be making a rehab appearance of his own in Hagerstown. Rodriguez has not played since July 6 after injuring his oblique. 

For more on the Nationals and Strasburg's recovery, visit Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg Pitches In What May Be His Final Simulated Game

Stephen Strasburg threw in what may be his last simulated game in Viera, Fl. on Tuesday, hurling three innings total. According to Mark DeCotis of Florida Today, Strasburg threw 32 strikes and 29 balls for 51 pitches total. He said this was expected to be Strasburg's final simulated game.

Via Ben Goessling of MASN Sports, it appears none of the hitters Strasburg faced got a ball out of the infield. It's not clear how fast Strasburg threw, since the Nationals keep that information under wraps, but barring a snag, Strasburg appears ready for his first rehabilitation start, which could take place August 6 or 7.

CSN Washington has video of Strasburg's simulated game here, though it is only for less than a minute. It remains unclear when Strasburg ultimately returns to the Majors, or even if he returns this season. As of right now, it looks like that will happen sometime in early September.


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Stephen Strasburg Rehabilitation Schedule Could Have Him Starting For Hagerstown On August 6

The news that Stephen Strasburg could make him first rehabilitation start following last September's Tommy John surgery has left many on the beat scrambling to determine when Strasburg will be back on the mound. As of right now, the date could be August 6, and the place could be Hagerstown. That's the timeline a club source presented to MASN's Byron Kerr.

A club source said Hagerstown has been discussed as the first rehab start on August 6 and then move on to High-A Potomac on August 11 for his second start.

That's by no means definite, though. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Strasburg is throwing in a simulated game Tuesday, and five days from Tuesday is August 7. So there's that.

As for Strasburg's eventual return to the Majors, Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington speculated that it could be September 7. He was also very, very clear that this was just a guess, so don't take it as gospel. Personally, I'm just happy we're having this discussion again.

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Stephen Strasburg Could Begin Minor-League Stint Next Week, Likely At Hagerstown

It looks like Stephen Strasburg will soon return to the baseball mound. The Washington Nationals' phenom, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery from last September, could begin his rehabilitation assignment as soon as next week, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Stephen Strasburg will make his rehab start in a week to 10 days, probably at Hagerstown, Davey says.

This gives further indication that Strasburg is going to return to the majors in September, though there are still plenty of hoops to jump through. Strasburg threw in a three-inning simulated game last week and tweeted that he's looking forward to leaving Viera, Fl. and heading north.

Hagerstown is the Nationals' low Single-A affiliate, and it's the same spot in which Bryce Harper began his professional career. If Strasburg's rehab is as planned, there is speculation that he could replace Jordan Zimmermann in the Nationals' rotation once Zimmermann reached his post-surgery innings limit.

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Stephen Strasburg Pitches In Three-Inning Simulated Game, 'Getting Close' To Minor League Start

Stephen Strasburg took another big step forward in his recovery from last September's Tommy John Surgery. The Washington Nationals' phenom threw in a three-inning simulated game on Thursday in Viera, Florida, and it appears he is closing in on his first rehabilitation start. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Stephen Strasburg threw a three-inning simulated game yesterday in Viera, Fla. and "threw extremely well," Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams said.

Williams said Strasburg is "getting close" to making his first minor league rehab start, which could put him on track to pitch in September if the Nationals believe he is ready. All in all, Strasburg threw 50 pitches in the start, which would account for at least half of a full game. The Nationals also apparently made the game as realistic as possible, simulating Strasburg's team hitting to adjust Strasburg to the rhythm of the game.

For more on Strasburg and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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Stephen Strasburg Injury: Strasburg Throws 95 MPH In Simulated Game, According To Davey Johnson

As buzz builds around a possible late-season comeback for Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg, this news is sure to stoke the flames. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the 23-year-old's fastball reached 95 miles per hour in a simulated game on Monday and that the pitcher was "holding back."

If Strasburg was indeed holding back, that would mean his fastball, which tops out at over 100 miles per hour, is either at or near the level it reached last season.

Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA for the Nats in 2010, his rookie season, before it was cut short by injury. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft then had Tommy John surgery, a procedure that keeps pitchers from playing for at least a full year, often longer. 

For Strasburg to come back from the injury before the end of this season would certainly be a remarkably fast recovery, even at his young age. 

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Stephen Strasburg Throws In Simulated Game, Could Return In September

There is a bit of possible good news for the Washington Nationals on the horizon. Actually, if true it would be more than just a bit of good news it would be "phenomenal." Adam Kilgore of the Nationals Journal reports pitcher Stephen Strasburg has pitched in a simulated game on Monday to live batters with success that puts him on track for a full recovery including possibly even pitching in the Majors in 2011.

Strasburg has been recovering from Tommy John surgery since late last year and has been making progress by leaps and bounds by having various throwing and bullpen sessions at the Nationals Spring Training facility in Viera, FL. In a simulated game Strasburg has been experiencing the natural flow of a real game, sitting between innings and throwing the array of pitches he has at his command. The word is: so far, so good and if everything continues at the rate it has there is a belief Strasburg could pitch this September.

"He’s throwing good," General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "His velocity is good. He’s progressing. He’s mixing in all his pitches, which is good. He’s right on track where he needs to be."

Strasburg? Pitching in 2011? It seems almost unthinkable and foolish to unleash such a weapon so soon after recovery, but the idea no doubt gets the Nationals' and their fan's hearts racing with excitement.

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Stephen Strasburg Says He Won't Change Mechanics After Returning From Tommy John Surgery

In the middle of his rehab, which is reportedly going will, Stephen Strasburg sat down with MASN's Ben Goessling to talk about many pitching topics. One of the most interesting responses was to a question about Strasburg's delivery, and if he plans to change it after he returns from Tommy John surgery, apparently, the answer is no.

Mechanically, if someone sees me for one game the first time in their life and they think this, this and this is wrong, then fine they can think what they want, but I've thrown this way my whole life. INjuries are a part of baseball. It's unfortunate that, you know, I'm the guy who's got the media attention. So immediately they're going to say 'what does he need to do to change? it's a mechanical problem.' But you don't see these guys down here in the minor leagues that have Tommy John and shoot up to the big leagues right after that because, you know, their arm gets stronger, they improve their control because of all the throwing. Nobody is saying anything about those guys that they have some mechanical flaws. It's just the nature of the beast, and it's almost funny now. You hear it come up and all you can really do is laugh.

Hm, interesting. I understand where Strasburg is coming from, but I also don't think he should be so quick to dismiss these claims. Everyone seemed to know that he was heading for Tommy John, and I don't know that the surgery will make him immune to any other problems his delivery might bring. But if he has those in the organization on his side, who am I to disagree.

I found one other interesting little nugget. It turns out, Strasburg was never really trying to strike all those people out. Apparently he was trying to pitch to contact, and they still couldn't hit him. In response to a question about people saying he needs to pitch better to contact:

the funny thing is a lot of these people don't really know what they're talking about they think that I'm trying to strike guys out. But if you're trying to strike a guy out, you're going to be walking him quite a bit more. Bottom line is I'm trying to pitch to contact, you know, it just so happens that they didn't make contact. You can say that I'm trying to strike everybody out, but who knows, I'm out there trying to throw strike one, I'm out there trying to get the guy out as fast as I possibly can.

Wow, I'd hate to see the kinds of swings and misses the opponents would have if he wasn't pitching to contact. Might look like wiffle ball at Nationals Park.

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Stephen Strasburg Injury Rehabilitation Remains On Schedule, Strasburg Says

Stephen Strasburg gave a brief interview with reporters out in San Francisco, where the Washington Nationals are playing their second game against the Giants. In the interview, Strasburg said his rehabilitation is on schedule and that he is throwing three bullpen sessions a week, with 30 to 40 fastballs in each.

Via Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.

"The idea is to put great stress on the new ligament," Strasburg said. "It'll pick up a little bit every week. I'm not really sure what's going to be in store for me next month, or the month after that. We're just taking it one day at a time, one week at a time."    

Strasburg continues to work out in Viera, Florida as he rehabs. The optimistic timeline would have him ready to return by September. He also briefly noted the one-year anniversary of his big-league debut, saying the whole experience was a "blur," at least during the actual game.

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Stephen Strasburg Throws Off A Mound For First Time Since Tommy John Surgery

The long road back from Tommy John surgery is marked with a lot of milestones that may seem insignificant at the time, but show a consistent move toward health. Yesterday, Stephen Strasburg reached one of the biggest. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Stephen Strasburg threw off a mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September.

The Nationals right-hander threw off a bullpen mound today in Viera, Fla., for the first time since having reconstructive surgery on his elbow in September. Strasburg, who had previously only thrown long toss off flat ground, broke the news on Twitter, posting: "First bullpen in the books. Felt great! Hopefully time will speed up now!"

Now it's important not to get too excited just because Strasburg has taken another step towards being healthy. There are still a lot of those little milestones (throwing full strength, making a simulated start, multiple rehab starts) that Strasburg has to reach before the Nationals will even begin to think about considering him for this season at all. But the fact that he has gone through this important step and has yet to suffer any setbacks so far in his rehab (knock on wood) is a very good sign.

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Stephen Strasburg To Be Sidelined For 12-18 Months

For more on Stephen Strasburg's injury and recovery program, cruise on over to our new story stream for all the updates.

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Stephen Strasburg Has A New Workout Routine

After experiencing his first stint on the disabled list and getting shelled in his first start coming off it, Stephen Strasburg has realized he might need to change his routine between games. At least that's what he said to reporters prior to last night's Nationals game.

Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

Strasburg said he began a new "program" between starts after going on the disabled list with inflammation in his back shoulder. "I'm definitely taking a more professional approach to how to take care of my body and my arm," Strasburg said. "It's a lot longer season. I just switched things up a little bit, targeting certain areas, really trying to work on the flexibility."    

Head Athletic Trainer Lee Kuntz elaborated by saying the team is merely focusing more of his exercises on the back of his shoulder, the area that caused Strasburg to go on the disabled list in the first place. We'll see whether that change affects Strasburg's health going forward, but it's nice to see he's at least considering changing the way he prepares for games now that he's firmly entrenched in the Majors. 

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Stephen Strasburg To Return To Mound, Nationals Expected To Take 'Cautious' Approach

Stephen Strasburg's short stint on the disabled list will officially end Tuesday night when he takes the hill against the Florida Marlins. He is no longer in any sort of pain and has passed every test leading up to today. But that doesn't mean the Nationals will stop keeping a close eye on him.

Via MASN's Ben Goessling:

Everything has checked out fine with his right shoulder; Strasburg has thrown a bullpen session and a simulated game without pain, and the Nationals say he wouldn't be on the mound at all if he was hurting.

Nonetheless, expect a cautious approach with the rookie tonight.

His health and his mechanics, both non-issues before July 27, have come under close scrutiny since then. The Nationals have so far responded to the high stakes of Strasburg's development with a conservative approach, and that's not likely to change tonight. If the Nationals have a lead after five innings, it wouldn't be surprising to see manager Jim Riggleman take him out there.

Basically, if you're going to tonight's game (and there are tickets available), don't be too upset if Strasburg is pulled early on.

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Stephen Strasburg Throws A Successful Simulated Game In Arizona; Will Start On Tuesday

It's been a few weeks since we saw Stephen Strasburg pitch, and frankly, I was beginning to miss him. Luckily for me, and the rest of the Nationals fans in D.C., it seems like he is well on his way back to the mound.

Strasburg pitched a simulated game on Thursday, and according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the results were very positive.

Stephen Strasburg finished his anticipated simulated game at Chase Field with no apparent issues, throwing roughly 40 pitches -- fastball, curveballs and changeups -- over two simulated "innings." Strasburg experienced some wildness, but most important, his pitches were crisp, his velocity almost as blistering as the 106-degree Arizona heat that engulfed the park with the retractable roof open.

The batters in this game were Justin Maxwell and Willie Harris, who took alternating hacks over the course of two simulated innings.

Maxwell swung and missed three times, and Harris swung and missed once. They took most of the pitches, but each hitter ripped one line drive. After his, a simulated single to right-center, Harris shot his fist into the air and yelled, "Yeah!" before walking out of the cage and giving Maxwell a high five.

I guess we can call that a moral victory, Willie.

But he can have that hit, the most important thing to Strasburg, and the Nationals organization, is that he made it through the day without any arm problems, and wasn't scratched from the start before it even started.

UPDATE: Kilgore is now reporting that Strasburg has been named the starter for Tuesday's home game against the Marlins. Scott Olsen's start will be moved back a day.

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Nationals Plan To Bring Stephen Strasburg Off Disabled List August 10

Stephen Strasburg's disabled list stint seemed like a precautionary measure, and in the end, it looks like it will be exactly that. Barring any snags, the Nationals will bring him off the DL to start on August 10 against the Marlins, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Strasburg will rest tomorrow aside from playing catch and shagging during batting practice, the same routine as any Nationals pitcher. On Thursday, he will throw a simulated game with batters standing in the box. He'll rest again Friday and throw another bullpen session Saturday in Los Angeles. At that point, the Nationals will be able finalize the decision they've made: that Strasburg will start Aug. 10 against the Marlins.    

Manager Jim Riggleman was quick to point out that timetable could change if Strasburg has any setbacks, but he did make clear that this is the team's plan. 

Strasburg was throwing on the bullpen before tonight's game with the Diamondbacks, and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz said he had no problems. The Nationals are taking this day-by-day, but assuming everything checks out, Strasburg will return to the roster on the first day he is eligible to do so.

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Stephen Strasburg Throws Off Bullpen Mound

In what has to be good news for anyone worried about any sort of serious Stephen Strasburg injury, the right-hander was reportedly throwing pitches in the bullpen before tonight's game against the Diamondbacks. Via Mark Zuckerman.

Stephen Strasburg currently throwing off the bullpen mound at Chase Field. First time he's done this since getting scratched 7 days ago.    

Strasburg is eligible to come off the disabled list on August 6 because he was placed on the DL retroactive to June 22. 

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John Lannan To Replace Stephen Strasburg In Rotation

Bill Lasdon of MLB.com is reporting that John Lannan will be replacing Stephen Strasburg in the Nationals’ rotation for Sunday’s game against the Phillies. From Lasdon’s blog,

The Nationals have decided that left-hander John Lannan will replace right-hander Stephen Strasburg in the rotation. Lannan, 25, will pitch Sunday against the Phillies.
It will be Lannan’s first big-league start since June 20th against the White Sox.

Lannan was demoted to the minors after that start against the White Sox and he subsequently posted a hardly impressive 4.20 ERA and 1-4 record against AA competition. In a bid for the understatement of the year, he’s no Stephen Strasburg.

Let’s hope he can return to his 2008-2009 form where posted an ERA of around 3.89 over those two years instead of the 5.76 ERA he has in the majors this season.

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White Sox Pitching Coach: This Could Be Only The Beginning For Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals fan in me wants Stephen Strasburg's shoulder tightness to be just that, tightness; not some sort of indication that his shoulder can't handle the tremendous amount of strain pitching at his ability puts on the human body. So what if he misses a start or two, who cares about a trip to the DL, they were going to keep his innings down anyway; anything I can say to justify it to myself.

Meanwhile, there are some outside of the district and the Strasburg hype bubble, who see this not as a minor roadblock in the path to inevitable success, but as a sign of things to come. That includes White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who had this to say to MLB Radio Network, from an article by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

"(With Strasburg) The real concern is what I call an upside-down arm action," Cooper told MLB Network Radio on SIRIUS XM today.

"I am not wishing this guy bad, but for him to be having problems right now when they are really, really watching him what are they going to see when they are trying to get 220 innings from him? He does something with his arm action that is difficult, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on."

It's true, Strasburg throws it really hard. I thought one of the appeals of Strasburg was that he had nearly picture perfect mechanics, but if a major league pitching coach says he has a motion that could be damaging to his arm, than that is certainly a red flag. he continued:

"It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood, a little bit of Mark Prior. I hope I’m wrong about this," said Cooper, whose White Sox were held to one run over seven innings by Strasburg in his third major-league start. "When you throw with the kind of talent and force that he can throw, you can break easier than let’s say a Mark Buehrle type."

Those are two names you do not want to use as examples when projecting Strasburg's career trajectory. I am choosing to still subscribe to the, "everything is going to be alright" school of thought, but again, I'm not a major league pitching coach. Any way you slice it, I'm less confident now than I was at this time on Tuesday.

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Nationals Place Stephen Strasburg On The DL

It's official, the Nationals have place Stephen Strasburg on the DL, according to the MLB Blogs network.

The Nationals have placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder stiffness and activated left-hander Scott Olsen, who is pitching against the Braves on Thursday afternoon.

Strasburg will not throw for the next three or four days, and his right shoulder will be reevaluated by the team after that.

It's important to note that just placing him on the DL doesn't actually mean that his shoulder is any worse than originally reported. The Nationals were going to monitor Strasburg's innings this year, and giving him this break during the season might just be an effective way to do so. More information as it it becomes available.

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Report: Stephen Strasburg Might Be Heading To The DL

We already knew that Stephen Strasburg wasn't going to make his scheduled start on Sunday, and that the team would be shutting him down for over a week. ow Mark Zuckerman is reporting that Strasburg might be out for longer than that.

Strasburg won't start Sunday, likely going on DL.

There has been no word from the organization that either confirms or denies this report, but it would seem to be in line with the other precautions the Nationals have taken with Strasburg's recent shoulder troubles.

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Riggleman: Stephen Strasburg Will Miss Scheduled Start Sunday

In an interview with the MLB Radio Network, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman provided a more concrete time table for Stephen Strasburg's "rehab," and it's bad news for those of you who bought tickets to see him pitch on Sunday.

#Nationals Jim Riggleman tells @MLBNetworkradio Strasburg will not start Sunday, be shut down for most likely 10 days.

But hey, at least you knew ahead of time. Riggleman also re-iterated that Strasburg probably isn't done pitching this season just yet.

#Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman tells @MLBNetworkradio that Strasburg will most likely not be shut down for the season though

As I've been saying all along, it seems like the Nationals are just being ultra-cautious with an "injury" that in all likelihood isn't all that serious. I don't blame them for that. But it appears the tightness Strasburg is experiencing is just some discomfort that comes from a new workload that he isn't used to, as opposed to an indicator of a more serious injury.

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Riggleman: Strasburg Feels Better Today

A day after Stephen Strasburg missed his start, there is some good news coming from Nationals camp regarding the most important right shoulder in D.C., from a tweet by Ben Goessling.

Jim Riggleman said Strasburg feels better today; Nats will shut him down from throwing for a couple days. not sure if he'll pitch Sun.

That is certainly a good sign. More clarification in a tweet from Dan Hellie.

Nats trainer on Strasburg: it will be 3-4 days before he throws a ball again.

Shutting him down for the next few days is consistent with their overly cautious handling of the young ace, and probably shouldn't be taken as a sign of anything serious. Time to exhale, Washington.

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Mike Rizzo: Nationals Will Be 'Ultra-Cautious' With Stephen Strasburg

Mike Rizzo just appeared on The Sports Fix on ESPN 980 with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro to talk about Stephen Strasburg's injury. A quick bullet-point recap:

-Rizzo said the team will be "ultra-cautious" with Strasburg and will decide whether he will make his next start after seeing him at the ballpark today.

-Rizzo said Strasburg had a similar issue in college, but added that Strasburg wasn't in any "pain" last night. "He wasn't in any pain, but it was something he wasn't comfortable with," he said.

-Loverro asked Rizzo to assure Nationals fans not to panic. Rizzo's response? "How can you assure Nationals fans not to panic? I'm not a doctor or a mind reader or have a crystal ball. We're doing everything we can to make sure we have a long-term pitcher, and he's doing everything he can." Co-host Kevin Sheehan also scoffed at Loverro's question, which I enjoyed.

-Sheehan asked Rizzo why the team waited until the second inning to post a message on the jumbotron about Strasburg being scratched from the start. "We got it to the fans as soon as we could. I was working on a lot of stuff and we had to move quickly to get the pitcher on the field. We got it to the public as soon as we could," he said.

-Rizzo admitted that the team would have asked almost any other pitcher, including Livan Hernandez, to try to pitch through the stiffness, but because it was Strasburg, and because of Strasburg's lack of experience logging heavy innings in the minors, they decided to pull him. 

-Rizzo's final Strasburg thought? "From what the doctor tells me, it's inflammation that's fairly routine.  The only thing that's not routine is that it's Stephen Strasburg."

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Stephen Strasburg Has No Structural Damage To His Arm

It appears the Nationals have gotten some good news after Stephen Strasburg was shockingly scratched at the last minute before last night's game against the Braves. The team gave him an X-ray and an MRI, and Strasburg's arm showed no structural damage after each of those tests, according to MASN's Ben Goessling.

Stephen Strasburg, who was scratched from his Tuesday start after feeling stiffness in his arm during his warmup, does not have any structural damage to his arm. He underwent a pair of tests with Nationals team doctor Wiemi Douoguih, an X-ray and an MRI, and while he has some shoulder inflammation, he is day-to-day, and general manager Mike Rizzo did not rule out Strasburg making his next start.    

Rizzo added that the team has no plans to shut him down preemptively for the entire season, even if he misses a start or two. 

Strasburg was scratched after saying his arm was "stiff." He told pitching coach Steve McCatty that he would try to play through it, but McCatty vetoed that decision and pulled the plug as a precautionary measure. 

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Rizzo On Strasburg: 'There's No Pain. There's No Shooting Pains Or Anything Like That...'

Well that’s a relief. GM Mike Rizzo explained in an impromptu press conference that Stephen Strasburg was scratched from tonight’s start for reasons wholly unrelated to specific pain. He explained:

“He was having trouble getting loose. There’s no pain. There’s no shooting pains or anything like that in the shoulder or the elbow. He was just struggling to get loose.”

On how concerned he is about the development:

“It’s a precautionary move. We’re going to see what our next step is. He’s day-to-day and we’ll see how he responds tomorrow.”

At least the phenom is reportedly not in serious pain or discomfort. It’s important to remember that there’s been talk from the get go about how the team would be precautionary with their young ace as the season progressed. Hopefully this is just one of those instances.

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Trainer Lee Kuntz: 'Something Was Wrong With Strasburg'

According to William Ladson, both pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz noticed something was askew while Stephen Strasburg was warming up in the bullpen:

Pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz told Mike Rizzo that something was wrong with #Starsburg. #Nats

GM Mike Rizzo just noted on MASN regarding his decision, "It's the job of the general manager to protect the assets for the club. It's unfortunate that a lot of people paid to come and see Stephen pitch, but I think it's important that Stephen's around for a long, long time."

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Rizzo Pulled The Plug On Strasburg

General Manager Mike Rizzo was apparently the one who made the executive decision to scratch Stephen Strasburg for tonight's game against the Braves. Via Mark Zuckerman:

Rizzo pulled the plug after being told #Strasburg was having trouble getting loose in pen. MRI, X-ray planned. At this pt, he's day to day.

It's unclear what was ailing Strasburg. Stay tuned to this stream for updates.

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Stephen Strasburg Scratched Just Before Game Time

The long awaited matchup between Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg, the two most hyped rookies in baseball, will have to wait another day.

Tonight was set to be the first of many battles throughout the years between two players many believe are destined to become superstars, but Stephen Strasburg was scratched just prior to game time at home against the Braves.

Details have not yet emerged as to what was ailing the pitcher, but he appeared to be in discomfort while warming up in the bullpen.

Stay tuned for updates as this story unfolds.

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