Washington Nationals News: Strasburg could return after second rehab start


Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes gives us an update on the status of injured starter Stephen Strasburg. As Janes notes, Strasburg is progressing well in his recovery from an oblique strain and likely needs only one more rehab start before he can rejoin the big league rotation.

Needless to say, this is great news for the Nationals. After seeing Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth come off the disabled list in recent weeks and with Strasburg’s return imminent, the Nationals are finally getting healthy. For the first time all season, the Nationals are close to being able to field the roster they envisioned going into Spring Training.

That being said, there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic when it comes to Strasburg. The right-hander has had several issues this season and has already been on the disabled list twice. Strasburg had a 6.55 ERA as recently as May 29 and, despite a mid-summer surge, it still sits at 5.16 four months into the season.

But there are also plenty of reasons to feel good about Straburg returning. The right-hander pitched well prior to landing on the disabled list and if his early season mechanical issues are behind him, the Nationals could definitely use his arm down the stretch and in the postseason. Fortunately for the Nationals, it looks like he’s just one rehab start away from rejoining the team. Strasburg will take the mound Monday for Triple-A Syracuse, and five days later he should be taking the mound for the Nationals.

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Also in today’s Daily, Janes writes an interesting article on how other Nationals players have reacted to the Jonathan Papelbon trade. As we know, much of the focus surrounding this trade has been on Papelbon and the “demotion” of Drew Storen to a lesser eighth inning roll. What some have forgotten about this trade, however, is that it makes the team much, much better. And as Janes notes, the players agree.

In her article, Janes quotes several Nationals players as they discuss how the Storen-Papelbon tandem  makes the team a stronger force down the stretch. In a side of the story we haven’t really heard, Janes also discusses how players are praising Storen for his peaceful reaction to the demotion and how his ‘take one for the team’ mentality has earned him even more respect from his teammates than he already had.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Stephen Strasburg could return after next rehab outing

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

MIAMI — By now, it’s an all-too-standard operating procedure for the Nationals: Watch an injured in a rehab game, then reserve judgment until morning. Wait and see, then decide what’s next.

Stephen Strasburg threw his first rehab outing Wednesday night, and Thursday morning, Nationals Manager Matt Williams reported Strasburg felt fine. Check. He threw a three-run, four-inning performance in which he threw 64 of the 65-pitch mark the Nationals were aiming for. Williams said Strasburg lacked mid-season sharpness, but results are not the focus of outings like those. Given that Strasburg has been out with a strained left oblique since July 4, ace form would be a lot to expect. Read full article here.

Ryan Zimmerman on Drew Storen: ‘If it’s possible we respect him even more now’

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

NEW YORK — Drew Storen’s handling of his new eighth-inning role will likely be as decisive as any story line running through the rest of this Nationals season. So far, he has dominated, with two perfect innings. He struck out the first two batters he faced Thursday on six pitches.

Storen has refrained from comment on the move; he is almost certainly frustrated, but unwilling to say so publicly now. His teammates know the Nationals are better with two top-notch closers than one. They also understand Storen’s situation. Read full article here.

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