Washington Nationals: Strasburg On 15-Day DL With Back Strain

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Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today, the Washington Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day DL because of an upper back strain.

Before this afternoon’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals placed starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list because of an upper back strain. The move was made retroactive to June 16, one day after his last start against the Cubs:

Strasburg has been the Washington Nationals best pitcher all season long. In 14 starts, he is 10-0 with a 2.90 ERA and he has the fifth most strikeouts of any pitcher in the National League (118). Strasburg’s last loss came on September 9, 2015 against the New York Mets.

Before Monday night’s loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Washington Nationals scratched Strasburg from his start against Clayton Kershaw and decided to go with Yusmeiro Petit. He was supposed to start today’s game, but after feeling more discomfort in his back, he ended up being scratched for Tanner Roark after last night’s loss.

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Due to the Washington Nationals having the off day Thursday, they were able to go with Roark on regular rest today. Now, the question remains to be seen who will take Strasburg’s spot in the rotation when the Nationals take on the Mets in a three-game series beginning tomorrow night at Nats Park.

There isn’t the option to go with Petit in the Mets series because he threw two innings of relief in yesterday’s loss. Dan Kolko of MASN tweeted that because of that aforementioned off day, Joe Ross is an option to get the start tomorrow against Noah Syndergaard:

Again, the Nats haven’t made an official move for Strasburg. However, two names to consider for a possible call-up to start for the Washington Nationals this week would be Austin Both and Lucas Giolito. Voth, who last pitched on June 23 for triple-A Syracuse, is 4-3 with a 2.99 ERA in 14 starts and has given up three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 outings.

As for Giolito, who is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, he hasn’t pitched since June 22 at double-A Harrisburg. He is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 starts. While he has given up only eight runs in four starts this month, he is tied for sixth in the Eastern League in walks (34).

Next: Reaction: Nats Playing Themselves Into Stressful Situation

Regardless of who takes Strasburg’s spot, it is a big void in the Washington Nationals rotation that has pitched well for the most part. With the team on a seven game losing streak and starting an important series tomorrow, this is the last news that anybody wanted.

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