Washington Nationals News: Nats put Stephen Strasburg on DL, call up Taylor Hill

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The Washington Nationals have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last few weeks, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had their fair share of bad news. In fact, the last few days have been full of bad news for a team that appears to be making its way to the top of the National League.

Earlier this week, we found out that outfielder Jayson Werth will be out until at least August with two fractures in his left wrist. Now, it looks like Stephen Strasburg will be out for at least a couple of weeks with neck and back problems.

After the right-hander exited yesterday’s start in the second inning, today the Nationals placed Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list today with tightness in his neck. While the press statement released by the team said that the issue was in his neck, manager Matt Williams told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that the right-hander has “back issues”.

Regardless of the specific injury that Strasburg has, the DL stint is the latest concern for a 2015 season that has been nothing but frustrating for Strasburg. The former No. 1 overall draft pick is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA this season and appears to run into serious problems in every start he makes.

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It’s impossible to know if the DL stint is really because of a physical issue or if it’s more about correcting the mental aspect of his game, but whatever the problem is with Strasburg, he has to fix it. Hopefully for him and for the Nationals, taking two weeks to clear his mind and reboot, both mentally and physically, will help him get back on track.

"“We have to get to the bottom of what’s going on,” Williams told Ladson. It’s perplexing. It’s not anything you can point to. We have to get this thing worked out so he can be back in 15 days.”"

In a corresponding roster move, the Nationals called up right-hander Taylor Hill from Triple-A Syracuse. Hill, who made his MLB debut last season, is 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts with the Chiefs this season.

Worth Noting

Strasburg isn’t the only injury concern for the Nationals today, as outfielder Bryce Harper was scratched before today’s game against the Reds with soreness in his back.

Harper was hit in the back by a pitch from Reds reliever Tony Cingrani during last night’s game. Michael A. Taylor replaced Harper in the lineup, while Clint Robinson moved from left to right field. At this point, it’s not clear if not Harper will be back in the lineup tomorrow.

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