Stephen Strasburg to have Tommy John surgery Friday

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Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo announced earlier this afternoon that Stephen Strasburg will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday in Los Angeles, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.

Strasburg underwent a second MRI arthogram during a visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum on Monday, which confirmed last week’s diagnosis of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

“It was very similar findings,” Rizzo said. “He gave him the physical tests
and was surprised that he could deal with all the physical testing. He
tested very well. Because of the physical tests, he gave him another
arthrogram and found the same thing. And his recommendation was he
needed surgery.”

The surgery will be performed by Yocum, with Nationals team doctor Wiemi Douoguih assisting. The pair also performed Jordan Zimmermann’s surgery last August.

And with that, Strasburg’s rookie season is officially over. The 22-year-old right-hander was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA over 12 starts with the Nationals, compiling a 92/17 K/BB ratio over 68 innings.

Strasburg will begin physical therapy immediately, but isn’t expected to resume throwing again for four months. The general timeline for a return from Tommy John surgery is approximately 12-18 months, so he’ll likely miss the entire 2011 campaign.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

Raisel Iglesias injured elbow and hips falling in the shower

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Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.

Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”

Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.

Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.