Stephen Strasburg continues to toy with minor leaguers

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Strasburg in rain.jpgWhen grade school kids are faced with what Stephen Strasburg is currently faced with — the total lack of a challenge — they are double promoted. Or at least put in the gifted class or something, because if they get bored they start setting fires and stuff.

Strasburg pitched five no-hit innings yesterday with no walks and six strikeouts. He even got an RBI single. According to the game story the radar gun gave reading of 94, but those in the know say that it runs about 4 m.p.h. slow.

Strasburg’s ERA is 0.52. He has allowed only seven
hits in 17 innings and has struck out 23 dudes while walking just three.  I think he’s ready.

Of course he still won’t be called up for a few weeks yet, because as everyone knows — and despite whatever things Strasburg and the Nats say about him still needing to work on things — this is clearly a service time thing.  We’ve talked about this before with respect to various prospects, but for everything you ever wanted to know about Super Two status, service time politics and how it all relates to Strasburg, the Post had a pretty comprehensive piece on it back in March.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.