UPDATE: Strasburg placed on the disabled list; no comment from Jim Bunning

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UPDATE: The Nats have places Strasburg on the DL. This is likely precautionary as Strasburg says he feels better than he did on Tuesday.  Because of the ability to DL him retroactive to his last start, the ten-day shutdown period mentioned before is likely more relevant.

9:34 A.M.: Jim Riggleman was on Sirius/XM radio this morning and said that Stephen Strasburg would be shut down for ten days and that there’s a chance he goes to the disabled list.  Riggleman said that this isn’t a full shut-down, though, and that he thinks Strasburg will start again this year.

In other Strasburg news, Hall of Famer, U.S. Senator and all around jerk Jim Bunning was at Tuesday’s Braves-Nats game and expected to see Strasburg pitch. After missing out, he went off about Strasburg to the political blog Politco:

“Five-hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball,” Bunning, a
Kentucky senator who hurled a perfect game in 1964 and struck out 2,855
batters in his Major League career, told POLITICO. “What a joke!”

Bunning had taken an interest in Strasburg, who like the Kentucky
senator is a fire-ball hurling right-hander. The senator has seen the
Nationals ace four times and was at the ballpark Tuesday night, he said.

But he clearly didn’t like what he saw – or rather didn’t see – when the youngster didn’t take the mound.

“My arm!” Bunning sarcastically cried as he pretended to clutch his shoulder in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

He said Strasburg’s fallen greatly in his estimation. “He was in the
top one percentile,” Bunning said, pinching his thumb and forefinger
together. Now, Bunning said, he’s closer to the 50th percentile.

Whatever.  Bunning may have been a durable pitcher over the course of his career, but he also had all of 11 starts under his belt before he was 25 (Strasburg just turned 22). How much you wanna bet that if you described that usage pattern to Bunning without telling him who it was referring to that he’d consider such a pitcher to be “babied?”

Either way, Bunning has basically become a joke over the past ten years, so if he’s saying “x” you can pretty much bank on “not x” being the case.

Diamondbacks place Shelby Miller on the 10-day disabled list

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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.

Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.

Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.

Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.

Eric Thames hit two more homers

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And John Lackey is livid.

The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.

Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.

Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.