Stephen Strasburg hasn’t pitched in over a month, and the Nationals transferred him to the 60-day injured record final week. That formally dominated him out till mid-August, and Jon Heyman of the New York Post stories that he’s prone to miss the rest of the 2022 season coping with a nerve concern.
It’s not an enormous shock, because the Nats have beforehand recommended they feared he’s suffered a recurrence of the thoracic outlet syndrome that minimize his 2021 marketing campaign quick. That necessitated surgical procedure final July, though Heyman writes that Strasburg happily won’t have to bear one other process. However, it appears even a non-surgical rehab gained’t afford the veteran righty a possibility to make it again to the mound this yr.
It’s the third consecutive misplaced season for Strasburg, who has been restricted to eight appearances because the 2019 marketing campaign wrapped up. He missed many of the abbreviated 2020 season resulting from carpal tunnel syndrome. After pitching simply twice that yr, he made 5 begins earlier than being shut down by TOS final season. Strasburg spent about 11 months working his manner again to the massive leagues, returning for a 4 2/3-inning in opposition to the Marlins on June 9. Whereas he got here out of that begin feeling wonderful, he suffered renewed rib discomfort throughout a bullpen session a couple of days later.
Accidents to Strasburg are among the many causes the previous three seasons have performed out disastrously for the Nationals. The three-time All-Star was in peak type in 2019, tossing 209 innings of three.32 ERA ball in the course of the common season. He continued to shine in the course of the postseason, serving to the Nats to a championship and profitable World Collection MVP honors. Washington stored him round on a seven-year, $245MM free agent contract the following winter.
Whereas it was straightforward to know the Nationals’ need to maintain Strasburg round coming off such a superb season, that signing seems to be like an unlucky main misstep looking back. Not solely have the accidents typically stored him off the mound, he’s seemed nothing like his previous self throughout his restricted motion. Strasburg averaged north of 94 MPH on his fastball in 2019, however he’s labored within the 90-92 MPH vary over the previous three years. Coupled with the Max Scherzer commerce and Patrick Corbin’s huge efficiency downturn, the wonderful top-end beginning pitching that anchored the Nats perennial contenders of the final decade has deserted them. Washington’s rotation has an MLB-worst 5.74 ERA via the season’s unofficial first half.
Strasburg, 34 on Wednesday, stays underneath contract for an additional 4 years. He’s due $35MM yearly via 2026, though a great portion of that wage is deferred with curiosity.