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Strasburg appears fine, but likely to miss next start

Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg went through his normal day-after-a-start workout routine this morning, including some light throwing, and reported no discomfort in his right forearm, alleviating any immediate fears that the 22-year-old phenom suffered a season-ending injury Saturday night.

However, the Nationals will still proceed cautiously with Strasburg. He left Philadelphia shortly before noon today, and was headed to Washington to undergo an MRI exam, the results of which could come as soon as tonight but probably will not be released by the team until Monday morning. In the meantime, Manager Jim Riggleman said it was "probably safe to say" that Strasburg will miss his next scheduled start, Thursday night's at Nationals Park against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Strasburg left Saturday night's game in the bottom of the fifth inning after grimacing in pain following a 1-1 pitch to Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown. The team later diagnosed the injury as a strained flexor tendon.

General Manager Mike Rizzo said reports that the team will shut down Strasburg for the rest of the season are "inaccurate," saying no determination about Strasburg's immediate future will be made until the MRI results are in. Rizzo added Strasburg was seen Saturday night by a Phillies team physician, who administered a battery of hands-on strength and range-of-motion tests, all of which Strasburg passed.

Rizzo also said Strasburg informed team officials he experienced instances similar to Saturday night's -- in which Strasburg felt a pain in his right forearm and immediately summoned Riggleman and pitching coach Steve McCatty from the dugout -- while pitching at San Diego State University, but that in each case the pain subsided quickly and Strasburg continued pitching. In each case, the episode occurred when Strasburg was throwing a change-up, suggesting there is something about that particular grip that occasionally causes a nerve to be compressed in such a way as to cause brief pain.

On Saturday night, by the time Riggleman and McCatty got to the mound, Strasburg was arguing to be left in the game, but Riggleman and McCatty overruled him.
m until tomorrow," Manager Jim Riggleman said.

It was the second arm issue for Strasburg in the span of four weeks. On July 27, Strasburg was scratched from a scheduled start at Nationals Park after reporting shoulder stiffness; two days later he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 22, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
 
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Next: Bryce Harper to be introduced on Thursday

Comments

Hopefully he doesn't turn into a Mark Prior.

Posted by: Chuckled | August 22, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If the Nats let him pitch again this year, they are fools. Then again, he is THE ONLY REASON anyone pays attention to them.

Posted by: shaggyd2117 | August 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

my question would be...when in the future do you take off the baby booties? i understand the conservative approach, but at some point in time you have to kick him out of the nest and let him fly. or wrap him in bubble wrap, and put him on the shelf to save for future use.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | August 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of what anyone says, this is an ominous sign. How many 98 mph fastballs will Strasburg be throwing at 30? My guess is not many.

Posted by: zephyr99 | August 22, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

This town is cursed!

Posted by: DCFanatic | August 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, getting hurt is never better than not getting hurt, but the sky isn't falling yet. He was pitching in college, once a week, at the beginning of last year, and then he sat out for months waiting around, not playing baseball. He may just be getting used to the demands of having a regular day job--happens to lots of good young pitchers--and they are being maybe a little too careful, which, again, is better than being too careless. He's not going to win anything this year, for them or for himself, so there's no real reason to push it.
But it's got to be driving *him* bug[feathers] to be treated like that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This town is cursed!

Posted by: DCFanatic | August 22, 2010 12:07 PM

What an "IGNORANT" post.

Posted by: leo25 | August 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

leo25,
Welcome to Nats Journal...home of the ignorant posts.

...and shaggyd2117...maybe he's the only reason you pay attention to the team, but you don't speak for me. I've been watching this organization since before he was born and with a little luck will still be watching after he is gone. With that said, let's hope this is just a hiccup...and not a detour.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 22, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, not considering Zimmerman worth watching is, by itself, proof enough of ignorance.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

sounds like a bit of carpal tunnel syndrome..

Posted by: bromisky | August 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I really like the Post's new "Post a Comment" advisory.
Folks who refer to the need to take off Stephen's "baby booties" should read up on the "flexor tendon". If you allow yourself to get just a bit of education, you'll see that we're not just dealing with an ingrown fingernail here. Whatever this is happened when he was throwing a circle change-up which likely put some stress on that tendon system that has been getting a lot more use this summer than it ever has before. It's totally appropriate that the organization and Stephen himself should be analyzing this objectively. You want him to have a long career, but you also don't have a lot precedent to work with when you look at how hard his normal delivery is pushing the envelope anatomically. People can get all macho in the way they look at this or they can be patient and careful with the treasure that we have.

Posted by: JoeTink | August 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

This latest is somewhat encouraging. Will be interested to read the MRI results. I'm fine with the conservative approach. We want SS healthy for the long run, and we're not going anywhere this year anyway. That said, I'll continue to watch until the end of the season, regardless of whether SS is in the starting rotation.

And I think that the hiccup was in the last post, though the position numbers did come up the second time around, so that's a plus. (Maybe it was the cheesesteak?) ;-)

---

With that said, let's hope this is just a hiccup...and not a detour.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess shaggyd isn't aware of how much the folks on NJ have gone through with the Nats. long before Strasburg. And, heck, I'm here to read Sec3's lyrics, if nothing else.

Posted by: nats24 | August 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

this guy is the second coming of Mark Prior.

he'll be out of the league in 4 years, book it.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | August 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

>this guy is the second coming of Mark Prior.
he'll be out of the league in 4 years, book it.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads

His delivery is almost identical to Prior's. Not quite as severe as far as torque, but it's awfully close. I couldn't tell much difference. If he doesn't get any clearance with his arm, he'll continue to have problems. I don't think there's any way around it except to modify his pitching motion. If he can throw 98 one way, he can do it another way if he's that strong. Look at his legs - they're like tree trunks. His arm is getting whipped around by the thrust he gets off the rubber.

Posted by: Brue | August 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

There was some debate earlier today about Strasburg's mechanics and whether they contributed to his recent injuries. Here is an interesting link to a discussion on the subject by someone who has spent more time researching this are than any of us armchair pitchers:

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/baseball/pitching/professionalpitcheranalyses/StephenStrasburg.html

If you don't like that one, there are plenty of other objective ones.

Posted by: ralphwilliams1 | August 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

>If you don't like that one, there are plenty of other objective ones.

Posted by: ralphwilliams1

That guy doesn't even bother to post any video. MLB network did a whole segment on Prior vs. Strasburg, split screen, and they broke each pitch down almost frame by frame. The most definitive conclusion they could come to was that he hadn't been injured YET, and they would reserve judgement until something happened to him. I mean, Prior had never been hurt until he went pro. The inference was that it was pretty scary to look at the similarities between the two, and even harder to separate them. It was obvious if you know what to look for.

Posted by: Brue | August 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you guys go to medlineplus.gov and get actual information about strains and sprains of the tendon. Here is one article

http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Brochures2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=1541

Posted by: CALSGR8 | August 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you guys go to medlineplus.gov and get actual information about strains and sprains of the tendon. Here is one article

http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Brochures2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=1541

Posted by: CALSGR8 | August 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Stras has used steroids like Pryor.

Posted by: sollazo | August 22, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Management will probably rush him into action and not allow a budding star's arm to heal as it should.

Posted by: TeresaBinstock | August 22, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The team is 18 games under .500. They'd obviously be CRAZY to take any chances with him. And I'm not sure that just skipping a turn doesn't qualify as taking a chance. As for the long term, I'll remain hopeful for now. But two injuries, even small ones, in 3+ weeks is obviously worrisome.

Mike Cornelius


www.onsportsandlife.com

Posted by: michaelcornelius | August 22, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

98 mph fastball? Wowww! In college my fastball went 88mph, with a 10 mph wind behind my back. Ice the that arm Stephen! You will be fine.

Posted by: TheWalpole | August 22, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

lots of drama with this kid...he is very fragile. and to think some here were miffed that he didn't get named to the all star team. great first start, but otherwise he hasn't earned anything, yet. certainly has a promising future, if he can stay healthy.

Posted by: heatmiser | August 22, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Why would you think (nevermind post) that? They lose money if he gets hurt now.

**********
Management will probably rush him into action and not allow a budding star's arm to heal as it should.

Posted by: TeresaBinstock | August 22, 2010 7:36 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 22, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's assume, for a moment, that the ultra-coservative approach they're taking with him is the right one. But if they keep on the same path, when is he ever going to develop the stamina and strength to pitch a full sason in MLB without having to miss half his scheduled starts? I'd be interested to know why he was only pitching once a week in his final year of college? Am I the only one who found that a bit unusual? Was Tony afraid he'd break down if he pitched more often? Or, was he under pressure to protect Strasburg's potentially huge signing bonus at the expense of preparing him for the rigors of being a MLB pitcher?

Posted by: fluffy4 | August 23, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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