We’ve been tracking Stephen Strasburg news all morning and will continue to do so this week as the Nationals make an important decision on his immediate future with the club.
Strasburg, 22, was lifted from his start against the Phillies on Saturday night after feeling pain in his right elbow during a fifth-inning pitch to outfielder Domonic Brown. He was later diagnosed with a strain of the flexor tendon in his forearm, but all signs so far point to him being just fine.
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the right-hander played catch on Sunday morning before heading back to Washington, D.C. for an MRI. The results of that examination will determine whether he is shut down for the rest of 2010 or kept active. But he did play catch, and that’s a major positive.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo denied a report from Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus stating that the team has already decided to shut Strasburg down. For what it’s worth, we’re finding it hard to believe that the kid is going to throw another pitch this season. Even if everything checks out fine, he topped out at 109 innings last year with San Diego State and is up to 123.1 total frames between the minors and majors this season. Strasburg is too valuable to that organization in the long term and, for all intents and purposes, 2010 is a done deal for the Nats.
The D.C. medical staff would be wise to tell the young phenom to shut it down and aim to get himself back to full health by the start of spring training next February.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.