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.
Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that the Orioles and Diamondbacks have agreed in principle to a trade involving outfielder Michael Bourn. The trade is in the process of being finalized. It is not yet known what the Diamondbacks are receiving in return.
Bourn will be the second outfielder the Orioles have acquired on Wednesday, as the club also claimed Drew Stubbs off waivers from the Rangers.
With rosters expanding on Thursday, the Orioles are making a concerted effort to bolster the team’s outfield depth. Both Stubbs and Bourn are eligible for the Orioles’ postseason roster if the club makes it.
Bourn, 33, hit .261/.307/.362 with 21 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, 43 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 358 plate appearances.
The Orioles have claimed outfielder Drew Stubbs off release waivers from the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The club designated for assignment pitcher Kyle Lobstein, whom they acquired from the Pirates earlier on Wednesday, to make roster space for Stubbs, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.
The Rangers designated Stubbs for assignment last week. After clearing waivers, Stubbs refused an assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, so the Rangers released him on Monday.
Stubbs, 31, has taken only 67 plate appearances this season — 42 with the Braves, 25 with the Rangers — as he missed a lot of time between mid-May and mid-August with a sprained left toe.
With rosters expanding, the veteran Stubbs will simply add to the Orioles’ outfield depth.