Early reports are flowing in on Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and his removal from Saturday night’s game due to a forearm flexor tendon issue.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says that Strasburg reported “significant improvement” in his right arm on Sunday morning and plans to work out with the team before Sunday afternoon’s series finale with the Phillies.
Of course, that doesn’t mean much. Strasburg is a serious competitor — he pleaded with manager Jim Riggleman to stay in last night — and not even he knows whether his right arm truly is injured. The MRI will tell us that, and it’s scheduled for this afternoon.
Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that Strasburg is going to be shut down for the season and will probably pay a visit soon to Dr. James Andrews. That’s far more believable given the right-hander’s high innings total and his value to that organization.
Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.
Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.
Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.
Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.