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.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.