Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Back To The IL
By Max Rayman
The injury bug has bitten Stephen Strasburg once again with the righty landing back on the IL.
When Stephen Strasburg was finally activated off of the IL last week and made his season debut against the Marlins, the Nationals fanbase and organization were ecstatic. The longtime ace is still viewed as a vital part of Washington’s rebuild and had finally worked his way back to the mound. Sadly his return was short-lived with manager Dave Martinez announcing earlier today that the righty wouldn’t be able to start tomorrow’s game and was headed back to the IL.
He felt good after his start, but suffered a setback after his Saturday bullpen, telling the team that he “didn’t feel right.”
“We were hoping it was just something that would go away,” Martinez said. It didn’t. Today, we sent him to get an MRI. We don’t have any results back yet.”
Since re-signing with the Nats in December of 2019 for seven years and $245 million, Strasburg has only thrown 31 1/3 innings. The 2019 World Series MVP was coming off of one of the most postseason pitching performances and was rewarded in kind. Sadly, each of his last two seasons was cut short due to season-ending surgery — with Strasburg undergoing surgery to alleviate neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome last July.
“This is a surgery that, after talking to doctors and trainers, is relatively new and it affects guys differently,” Martinez said. “After the surgery, you just kind of see things in a broader spectrum and hope that they come back and they can pitch and all of a sudden they become somewhat the person they were before. But you just don’t know what to expect, you don’t know how long before you get sore.”
One of the most hyped pitching prospects of all time, Strasburg’s career has been intertwined with injuries. After one of the most dominant MLB debuts of all time where he struck out 14, his rookie season was cut short due to Tommy John. He missed the majority of the 2011 season as he recovered from surgery and the following year was put on the infamous innings count. Since then, he’s only made 30+ starts in a season three times — in 2013, 2014, and 2019.
In the meantime, Washington will be starting 26-year-old Jackson Tetreault who will be making his MLB debut. This year in 12 starts at AAA, he’s 5-3, with a 4.19 ERA, and 52 strikeouts.