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.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.