Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list last week after inflammation was found in his throwing shoulder. The move was mostly precautionary and his goal is to return on the first day that he is eligible, or at least right around that day.
That goal got a little more realistic on Sunday when Strasburg played catch for the first time since his shoulder issue sprang up. He made sets of 25 throws from a distance of 60 feet and reported feeling great after the workout.
The next step is a bullpen session, which should happen Tuesday. Then he will throw a simulated game, probably on Thursday. If all goes well, he could be back with the Nationals for their mid-week series against the Marlins that begins on August 10.
Strasburg, who turned 22 on July 20, has collected five wins in nine starts this season for a bad Nationals team. He’s posted a 2.32 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. Opposing hitters have averaged a .216/.270/.291 batting line against him.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.
Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.
The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).