UPDATE: According to the Nationals’ official Twitter feed, Strasburg has been optioned to Double-A Harrisburg. That’s that.
SATURDAY, 8:39pm: Stephen Strasburg just wrapped up what could be his last start of the spring with the Nationals.
He got off to a bit of a rough start, serving up a solo home run to Cardinals shortstop prospect Tyler Greene on the first pitch of the game — the first run he has allowed this spring — followed by a one-out home run by Allen Craig. But after that? Strasburg struck out seven of the final 12 batters he faced.
Strasburg’s final line for the night: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks
The 21-year-old has a 2.00 ERA and a 12/1 K/BB ratio in nine innings pitched this spring.
Those are some pretty darn impressive numbers, but Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider has what could oddly qualify to be the doozy of them all:
In three spring
starts totaling nine innings, Strasburg has not recorded a flyout. 13
groundouts, 1 popout, 12 strikeouts.
Wow. Strasburg might start the season in the minor leagues, but you can pretty much mark it down that he’ll main attraction in Washington by June.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.