Stephen Strasburg headed for disabled list after MRI confirms strained flexor tendon

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Jim Riggleman said this afternoon that Stephen Strasburg is all but certain to be placed on the disabled list and a short time later general manager Mike Rizzo revealed that an MRI exam has confirmed the initial diagnosis of a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Jordan Zimmermann is expected to replace him in the rotation beginning with Thursday’s start. Prior to Strasburg’s arrival Zimmermann was Washington’s top pitching prospect, but he’s coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery and hasn’t pitched for the Nationals since June of last season.
He fared very well while rehabbing in the minors, posting a 1.59 ERA, .193 opponents’ batting average, and 31/6 K/BB ratio in 39.2 innings, and if healthy projects as the Nationals’ long-term No. 2 starter behind (a hopefully also healthy) Strasburg.
Rizzo wouldn’t rule out Strasburg pitching again this season, which is obviously a very good sign, but at this point there’s seemingly zero reason for him to take the mound again before 2011.

Steve Delabar among three suspended after testing positive

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Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.

Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.

Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.

Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.

Phillies place Aaron Nola on the disabled list

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The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.

Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.