Stephen Strasburg Could Return To Washington Nationals In September, According To Report

A new report indicates that Stephen Strasburg is still on schedule to return to Major League action in September.

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Stephen Strasburg May Return To Washington Nationals In September, According To Report

Stephen Strasburg was put on a 12-18 month time period when he underwent Tommy John surgery last September. So far, he appears to be on schedule, and there is yet another report out there indicating that the Washington Nationals believe he will be fully healthy in time to pitch in the Major Leagues this September.

This report comes from ESPN's Jayson Stark:

Stephen Strasburg is another story, though. Strasburg remains on a similar track to Jordan Zimmermann's Tommy John surgery recovery of a year ago. Strasburg got started a few weeks later than Zimmermann did last year. But if nothing goes amiss, he could make five or six minor league appearances and be back, tentatively, pitching in the big leagues by September. The Nationals won't force those September starts if he's not ready, but Strasburg is all for that path. "Hell," said one Nationals exec, "if it were up to him, he'd start tonight."    

This isn't really a change, but it is an indication that Strasburg's rehabilitation is going positively, at least for now. For more on Strasburg, visit Federal Baseball.


Stephen Strasburg Throws A Ball For First Time Since Tommy John Surgery

Stephen Strasburg passed an important milestone in his ongoing recovery from Tommy John Surgery in September. It may seem like an elementary milestone, but it is still an essential one. He has tossed a baseball for the first time since the surgery, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said that Strasburg tossed a ball from a "very short distance" while rehabbing in San Diego earlier today.

"He told me that he tossed a ball, that he was really excited," Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said today in a phone interview. "I just kind of laughed. He was so excited to be able to toss a ball. I'm not sure what the process is, because it can vary. But I know he tossed a ball. It was a very short distance. He was very happy."    

This means that Strasburg remains on schedule for a projected 12-18-month recovery from the September surgery. During training camp, he is expected to play soft catch with the pitching staff while the other pitchers do their routine. If all goes well, there's an outside chance Strasburg could be ready to pitch by next September, though there are a lot of landmarks he must pass before then.


Stephen Strasburg Says He's In The Best Shape Of His Life

Tommy John Surgery has a way of convincing you that you're not as invincible as you think, but it also has a way of convincing you to take even better care of your body. Evidently, that's been the case with Stephen Strasburg as well. In a TV interview on Wednesday, Strasburg proclaimed that he is in the best shape of his life.

Via Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog:

"I'm definitely in the best shape of my life," Strasburg told Ted Robinson. " Once you start throwing, it's gonna be a long process just getting your strength back, but I feel great about it and I have a really good feeling that I'm gonna come back at 100 percent....The surgery's down to a science, and you've just got to do what the doctors tell you.    

Athletes say stuff like this all the time, so it's not worth jumping for joy or getting too excited. However, it's good to know that at least Strasburg thinks he is doing the work necessary to come back strong in 2012. 

Strasburg gave the interview at halftime of a CBS College Sports Network broadcast of a San Diego State basketball game. Strasburg is an alum of the school.


Stephen Strasburg Rehab 'On Track,' Will Begin Throwing In January

Here's some good news for Washington Nationals fans: Stephen Strasburg's rehab is going well. The young phenom was on a conference call with reporters earlier Monday to provide an update on his recovery from Tommy John Surgery in early September. Strasburg said he appears to be on schedule and will begin throwing in January.

Via Ben Goessling of

Strasburg said he expects to start throwing sometime in January, and will report to spring training in Viera, Fla., with the rest of the Nationals' pitchers and catchers. He's still doing physical therapy and strength work, not baseball activities, but he'll begin throwing in San Diego before heading east.     

Strasburg added that the reason doctors have not declared him ahead of schedule is because they want to make sure they don't "get my hopes up." He does not have an exact timeline yet, but the fact that he is expected to begin practice throwing by January is a good sign.

Strasburg has already been ruled out for the entire 2011 season as he recovers from the surgery.


Strasburg's Surgery Deemed A Success

Stephen Strasburg had successful surgery today to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, according to Ben Goessling and Kristen Hudak of MASN.

Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg had "smooth and uneventful" Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles on Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters in Pittsburgh. Strasburg's operation, performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum and Nationals team doctor Wiemi Douoguih, lasted three hours. He'll spend the night in the hospital and head home to San Diego, where he will rehab at a Scripps clinic there.

Success is a relative term when it comes to long-term injuries of this nature. Success doesn't mean that his recovery time will be shortened, so don't expect him back any sooner than the 12-18 months that we'd already been hearing.


Stephen Strasburg Officially Moved To 60-Day Disabled List

We noted last week that Stephen Strasburg’s Tommy John surgery was going to lead the Washington Nationals to place the pitcher on the 60-day disabled list.

The Associated Press reports that the transfer officially happened today.


Stephen Strasburg's Tommy John Surgery Scheduled For Friday

We already knew that Stephen Strasburg would need to have Tommy John surgery. Now, we know exactly when he'll have it. According to @NatsTownNews, the official Twitter account of the Nationals, Strasburg will have the surgery on Friday.

The surgery will take place in California and will be performed by doctor Lewis Yocum. Mark Zuckerman notes that this is the same doctor that performed Tommy John surgery on Jordan Zimmermann. 

For more, visit Federal Baseball.


Strasburg: 'I'm Going To Be The Best At Rehabbing'

Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg held a press conference Friday afternoon to confirm that he will need to have Tommy John surgery and thus will be out for the foreseeable future.

Still, the 22-year-old took the podium with poise and explained that the injury is definitely not the end of the line for the young phenom’s career.

He admitted that it was “kind of a shock,” but seemed to be ready to get back on the field as soon as possible.

“It’s a new challenge for me,” Strasburg said. “It’s a chance to not worry about throwing.”

“I want to be the best at everything,” he went on to say, “And right now, I’m going to be the best at rehabbing.”

The pitcher didn’t seem all that interested in talking a lot about the injury, though, preferring instead to focus on the future.

“If I think about it, I’ll eat myself up. I have to let it go and move on,” Strasburg went on to say. “If I keep looking for an explanation, it’s just going to eat at me.”

Strasburg will leave tomorrow for surgery in Los Angeles and plans to start rehabilitation as soon as possible.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman then took the podium and said that he found out about the injury prior to Thursday night’s game.

Most surprisingly, Riggleman noted that he is “surprised more pitchers don’t end up having surgery.”


Analysis: Stephen Strasburg's Injury Is Not The End Of The World

Naturally, everyone in Washington D.C. is freaking out over the news that Stephen Strasburg will need to have Tommy John surgery. It's obviously a scary thought that Strasburg is having such a major surgery so early in his career.

At the same time, it's 2010, not 1980. Tommy John surgery just isn't a career-killer like it used to be. SB Nation's Jeff Sullivan explains that and more in this must-read analysis of the situation.

The good news is: probably, yes, he should be able to make a complete recovery. Though Tommy John surgery was experimental 35 years ago, it's become rather common of late, and it's become common precisely because it works so well. Success rates are usually quoted to be around 85-90%, and while one's success rate depends on how one defines success, Tommy John surgery is way preferable to, say, surgery to repair a torn labrum in the shoulder. If a pitcher has to suffer a major injury, you'd always rather it happen in the elbow than the shoulder, because shoulders are complicated, and injured shoulders can ruin careers.

Sullivan notes a ton of current Major League pitchers who have recovered from Tommy John surgery before concluding with this:

Tommy John surgery used to be something of a fright. Nowadays, it's more of a delay.

It's a good reminder that, as crazy as it sounds, Strasburg's injury could have been worse. There's no guarantee Strasburg will fully recover and get back to where he was this season, but chances are higher than it would seem.


Scott Boras Weighs In On Stephen Strasburg's Injury

Stephen Strasburg's agent, Scott Boras, just happened to be at Nationals' Park last night because he also represents Bryce Harper, whom the Nats introduced earlier in the day. Adam Kilgore has his response to Strasburg's injury, his reaction, and the likely surgery that awaits.

"It was surprising," Boras said this afternoon in a telephone conversation. "Stephen felt good. He felt like he could continue to throw after it happened That's not unusual among elite athletes who have strength and flexibility beyond the norm.

"Obviously, it's really disappointing as far as what his current plan was. We sat down, had to map out a new focus for the next 12 months. We'll consult with some doctors and develop a plan to get this resolved. We've got high probability for a successful return."

Boras also reiterated his faith in the plan that the Nationals laid out during their conference call Friday morning.

"The plan that Mike Rizzo and Stephen and I sat down and devised was exactly what the Nationals did," Boras said. "There's no issue as to anything about the plan. This is just an unfortunate even that occurs with pitchers. It happened with one pitch. There's no notice to any of this. As far as Stephen's treatment and the conservatism applied by all of us, it was done in the greatest of caution."


Stephen Strasburg Will Accumulate Service Time While He Recovers

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Stephen Strasburg will accumulate service time while he is on the disabled list next year recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

The one rough aspect to Strasburg's being out for a season is that he will accrue service time while on the 60-day disabled list, meaning Strasburg will get one year closer to free agency without throwing a single pitch for the Nationals.

Though the Nationals are hurt in a business sense, the future is still bright for Stephen Strasburg. You just have to swallow hard and squint a little to see it.

Kilgore had originally said that Strasburg would not accumulate service time, but has since updated his post with the above quote.


Nats GM Mike Rizzo Comments On Stephen Strasburg

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was just on ESPN 980 talking about Stephen Strasburg, here's a quick re-cap of what he had to say:

  • "We're going to see him a year or so from today, and he's going to be bigger and better than ever."
  • The club did baseline MRI's on his shoulder when they drafted ans signed him, and Rizzo said that in those tests his elbow was "pristine."
  • The MRI results they got yesterday were "dramatically changed" from their baseline
  • "The wear and tear portion, we don't think was a factor. We think it was a one-pitch episdoe."
  • Rizzo said the team got the results back late last night, but with Bryce Harper in the building, they wanted to delay the announcement until this morning to let Bryce have the spotlight. Strasburg was consulted and agreed.
  • Scott Boras happened to be in the building yesterday with Bryce Harper, and was involved with breaking the news to Strasburg
  • When they told him, Strasburg was initially confused and angry, "How could this happen, my arm feels good?" But after he calmed down, he told rizzo that he would focus on his rehabilitation and wanted to come back better than ever.
  • Rizzo was optimistic earlier this week when Strasburg came into the park, had no pain or swelling in his elbow, and passed the two tests that are given to players with elbow issues.
  • " We protected him at every turn, and I've got no problem with the way we developed him. I've got a problem with the result."  
  • On Dibble, if you care about that sort of thing at a time like this: "I was upset at the comments, I think he was uninformed. You can say whatever you want about on field performance ... when you get into character, that's a slippery slope. Rob should have known better."
  • "A year from now, we're all going to ebe excited because we just made a big deadline acquisition, and Stephen is about to come back."

Tommy John Surgery Is Not The End Of Stephen Strasburg's Career

The Nationals organization and fans got the worst possible news today. Stephen Strasburg will likely require Tommy John surgery, and might miss the entire 2011 season. But it's important to remember that Tommy John surgery is no longer a death sentence for pitchers.

It's been pointed out numerous times, that both starting pitchers in last night's game, Jordan Zimmermann and Chris Carpenter, had undergone Tommy John surgery and recovered successfully. Carpenter has come back to be a very effective pitcher. The jury is still out on Zimmermann, but his performance last night showed that he still had much of the same "stuff" he had before his surgery.

J. Freedom du Lac takes it a step further:

Seven pitchers at the 2010 MLB All-Star Game had TJ surgery: T. Hudson, C. Carpenter, J. Johnson, J. Soria, R. Soriano, A. Rhodes and H. Kuo

Today isn't a very good day to be a Nats fan, member of the organization, or Strasburg himself, but it's not the end of the world. Strasburg will likely be ready to go at the start of the 2012 season when he will hopefully be surrounded by a better team, and will still be only 24 years old.


Nationals Not Second-Guessing The Way They Brought Stephen Strasburg Along

There was a lot being made of the way that the Nationals brought Stephen Strasburg along. They treated him with kid gloves from day one, in the hopes of avoiding the exact type of thing they had to announce this morning.

Even though it didn't work, and Strasburg will likely require Tommy John surgery, the Nationals are not second-guessing the timetable and restrictions they set for him. "He was developed and cared for the correct way," Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said in a conference call, "We're good with that. Frustrated, yes. Second-guessing ourselves, no."

The Nationals were extremely careful with Strasburg from day one, and every report claims this is the type of injury that could have happened on one pitch. So while they might be upset that it happened, their plan can not be considered the reason why.


Nationals Will Seek Second Opinion On Stephen Strasburg Before Proceeding With Surgery

The Nationals announced that Stephen Strasburg has a tear in the UCL in his right elbow, but they will seek a second opinion before proceeding right away with the surgery.

Nationals will be getting second opinion before moving forward with Tommy John surgery. Same doctor who did Jordan Zimmerman’s surgery.less than a minute ago via web


No word yet on when the second opinion will be conducted, or a possible timetable for surgery and recovery.


Stephen Strasburg Has 'Signifcant Tear' And Will Probably Require Tommy John Surgery

Nationals' pitcher Stephen Strasburg has a "significant tear" in the ligament in his right elbow, and will probably require Tommy John surgery, the Nationals announced on a conference call this morning.

He took an MRI this week that was much worse than the MRI he received this weekend. The team will shut him down for the rest of the season, and will send him to the same doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on Jordan Zimmermann last year.

Strasburg will finish his rookie season with a record of 5-3 and a 2.91 ERA. He struck out 92 in only 68 innings pitches.


Report: Nationals 'Expected' To Shut Stephen Strasburg Down For Rest Of Season

Stephen Strasburg is having a second MRI on his injured forearm, but the result may not matter much for this season. The Nationals are reportedly going to shut Strasburg down no matter the result, according to a report by Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.

Regardless of the results of Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg's second MRI, he is expected to be shut down for the season as a precaution. The Nationals have the final call on the decision, and they are believed not to want to take a chance with their prized pitcher.

Strasburg remains under the innings limit management set for him, but he still threw more innings this season across all levels than ever before. If he is indeed shut down, he will end the year with a 5-3 record and a 2.91 ERA. Most impressively, Strasburg struck out 92 batters in just 68 Major League innings.

For more, visit Federal Baseball.


Nationals Officially Place Stephen Strasburg On Disabled List

It's now official: the Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the disabled list. The team announced the move in a press release today, retroactive to August 22. This means Strasburg is eligible to come off the disabled list on September 6. 

To fill his spot on the roster, the Nationals recalled Collin Balester from AAA.


Stephen Strasburg Headed To DL, Will Have Second MRI

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that, yes, Stephen Strasburg will be headed to the disabled list. However, he did not rule out Strasburg returning to pitch this year.

Via Mark Zuckerman:

Rizzo: #Strasburg MRI shows strained flexor tendon. He'll get enhanced MRI in next couple days. Wouldn't rule out pitching again this year.less than a minute ago via mobile web


Rizzo added that Strasburg had the same issue in college and that both MRIs will be done locally (so no Dr. James Andrews), according to Nationals News Network.


Jim Riggleman Confirms That Stephen Strasburg Will Head To Disabled List

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman just confirmed a report that the Nationals are likely to place Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list in his pre-game media session. 

Via Samuel Chamberlain of TBD:

Riggleman: Strasburg will likely go on DL. Rizzo to address media in about an hour.

Ironically, Strasburg's replacement on Thursday could be Jordan Zimmerman, who has been slowly rehabbing from Tommy John surgery over a year ago. 


Stephen Strasburg Likely Heading To Disabled List With Forearm Injury

The Nationals were very cautious with Stephen Strasburg on Saturday, pulling him in the fifth inning of an 8-1 win over the Phillies because of a forearm injury. They apparently will continue to be cautious with him, as they're likely to put him on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm, according to's Bill Ladson.

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is likely headed to the 15-day disabled list because of a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm, according to a baseball source. The team may not make the move until Thursday, when he is scheduled to make his next start.

It's not clear yet whether this means Strasburg season will be over. 


Report: Strasburg Has Experienced This Injury Before, According To Nats GM

Bill Ladson had some good news to report on the Stephen Strasburg front this afternoon as everyone anticipates the results of the rookie pitcher's MRI.

First, Strasburg played catch this morning before getting an MRI. The other good news is that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says that Stephen Strasburg has experience similar pain before and pitched through it, while at San Diego State:

Strasburg left Saturday's 8-1 victory over the Phillies with a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm, an injury that he had while attending San Diego State University. According to Rizzo, Strasburg pitched through it and stayed in the game while in college.

"He has done it before and pitched through it," Rizzo said.

If it is the same injury he suffered while in college, it would explain why he tried to ask Jim Riggleman to stay in the game Saturday night after it became clear he was in pain after throwing a pitch in the fifth inning.

According to Ladson, Riggleman believes Strasburg will not make his next scheduled start but Rizzo said it was too soon to say whether or not Strasburg will miss his next start or not.


Riggleman: Strasburg Wanted To Stay In Game After Wincing In Pain

Although was clearly wincing when he threw his final pitch, as you can see in this photo, manager Jim Riggleman says Stephen Strasburg wanted to stay in the game, according to Gene Wang:

"After the initial feeling that he felt, by the time we got out there, he said, you know, 'I feel good. I don't even feel anything. Let me keep pitching,'" Riggleman said. "We just didn't choose to do that."

The MRI on Sunday will tell us much, much more, but Strasburg's attempt to stay in the game provides a glimmer of optimism as we anticipate the results.


Strasburg Scheduled For MRI To Examine Flexor Tendon Strain

Mark Zuckerman tweets that Stephen Strasburg strained a flexor tendon in his forearm, and will undergo an MRI on Sunday.


Stephen Strasburg's Night Ends Early Due To Arm Pain

Stephen Strasburg only went 56 pitches into his start against the Philadelphia Phillies before Nationals' manager Jim Riggleman pulled the plug on his start after he developed arm pain in the fifth inning. Mark Zuckerman details the action:

Strasburg immediately looked down at his right arm and then shook it around after throwing his 56th pitch of the night. After a few seconds, Ivan Rodriguez joined him at the mound, followed immediately by manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz.

Despite pleas from Strasburg to remain in the game, Riggleman wouldn't listen to his rookie pitcher. Strasburg departed with a disgusted look on his face, replaced by Craig Stammen with the Nationals leading 5-1.

Ben Goessling of MASN speculates Strasburg could have developed a blister, but also noted the team's training staff was taking a look at his forearm as well.


Preview: Strasburg Takes The Mound Against The Phillies

(Sports Network) - Phillies manager Charlie Manuel says he is excited to see the NationalsStephen Strasburg pitch against his club for the first time.

That feeling could change real quick.

Philadelphia gets the first of likely many future meetings against the potential Washington ace tonight in the continuation of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

None of Strasburg's first 11 career starts have come versus the Phillies, though the two figure to get to know each other well over the coming future.

"I'm excited to see him pitch," Manuel told Philadelphia's official website. "I don't want him to beat us. I want to beat him. What I see from him is exciting. I get excited about his talent, style, ability. I know if he stays healthy, he's going to pitch in the big leagues for a long time."

The 22-year-old Strasburg will be making his third start since a disabled list stint and is winless over his last two outings. Strasburg was tagged for six runs over a career-low 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Marlins on Aug. 10, then allowed three runs -- one earned -- over five frames of a no-decision versus the Diamondbacks on Sunday. He struck out seven in his team's 5-3 win.

The right-hander is 5-3 with a 2.97 earned run average on the season and is looking for his first win since July 21.

While Philadelphia's offense has the potential to rattle any pitcher, it managed just one run off Washington starterJason Marquis in Friday's opener. That turned out to be all the Phillies would need in a 1-0 victory.

Roy Halladay hurled seven scoreless innings and both Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge pitched an inning of relief to finish off the shutout. Lidge converted his seventh straight save and 17th of the season.

"I battled myself a little bit early," said Halladay, who had a runner on base in each inning. "It was kind of one of those games where you're working to make pitches. I made some when I needed to and I had a little luck on my side to get out of some of those jams."

Raul Ibanez drove in the lone run when his bouncer up the first-base line in the third inning hit off Adam Dunn's glove and allowed Chase Utley to score.

The Phillies picked up their fifth win in six games as well as their 13th in the last 17. The club's 18th victory in its past 21 at home also helped it maintain a one-game edge over the Giants for the National League Wild Card spot and a 2 1/2-game deficit for first place in the NL East behind the Braves.

Marquis remained winless (0-6) despite his first five-inning start of the year. He did lower his ERA nearly three full runs to 11.39, but Washington went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 to fall for the ninth time in 12 games.

Kyle Kendrick gets the nod tonight for the Phillies and he put a tough outing behind him on Sunday by besting the Mets.

Kendrick, who turns 26 on Thursday, was charged with five earned runs versus the Dodgers on Aug. 10, but rebounded to beat the Mets with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He improved to 8-5 on the season with a 4.45 ERA by winning for the third time in his last four decisions.

The right-hander was drilled for six runs over just 1 2/3 frames the last time he faced the Nationals on April 14, with Kendrick falling to 1-2 with a 6.93 ERA in his career versus the Washington franchise.

After going 39-15 over the Nats in the previous three seasons, including 20-7 at home, the Phillies have won just six of the 10 matchups in 2010, taking two of three at Citizens Bank Park from April 12-15.

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