Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Unlikely To Pitch In NLDS
By Ricky Keeler
More bad news for the Washington Nationals as Stephen Strasburg will probably not pitch against the Dodgers
The bad news just keeps on coming for the Washington Nationals with less than a week to go until the postseason. Today, everyone found out that catcher Wilson Ramos tore his ACL last night and will miss the remainder of the year. A couple hours later, general manager Mike Rizzo told the media that Strasburg is unlikely to make an appearance in the NLDS, which begins next Friday:
While that is bad news for Strasburg, he is at least making progress to pitch further along in the postseason, should the Washington Nationals advance past the first round. Rizzo also said today that Strasburg has thrown a ball from 90 feet, which is a start:
Strasburg has been out since September 7 against the Braves because of a flexor mass strain in his right elbow. It is no surprise that Strasburg will probably unavailable to pitch in a short five game series just a month removed from the injury.
With Strasburg now likely out of the picture for the first round, the focus will now be on who will fill those spots. The first three starts in that NLDS series against the Los Angeles Dodgers will likely go to Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, and Gio Gonzalez. The question now remains as to who the fourth starter might be.
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One of the pitchers that have a chance for that four starter spot is Joe Ross. Ross has made two starts since returning from right shoulder inflammation. He hasn’t thrown more than three innings in any of those games. With that being said, he has one more chance to build his pitch count up when he starts Thursday afternoon against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The other bad pitching news for the Washington Nationals today was that A.J. Cole was suspended five games by Major League Baseball for throwing behind Jung Ho Kang in Sunday afternoon’s win over the Pirates. Cole is appealing that suspension:
Cole’s next start in the rotation is scheduled for Friday night against the Miami Marlins at Nats Park. If Cole loses the appeal, a pitcher I would like to see get that start is Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez was excellent out of the bullpen Saturday night against Pittsburgh and could use that opportunity as a last audition for a postseason roster spot.
Next: Ramos Tears ACL, Out For Season
All in all, the news continues to be bad for the Washington Nationals with all of the injuries they’ve had over the last few weeks. These injuries have come at an inopportune time for the Nats as they try to lock up home field for that NLDS. Right now, they are one game ahead of the Dodgers with six games to play (Dodgers own the tiebreaker because of head-to-head).