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.