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.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.