Stephen Strasburg ready to throw off a mound “any day”

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Stephen Strasburg had a routine checkup on his surgically repaired elbow Tuesday and general manager Mike Rizzo told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that the rehabbing right-hander will be cleared to throw off a mound “any day.”

Strasburg hasn’t taken the mound since last August and underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in September, which means he’ll need to make a very speedy recovery to pitch for the Nationals at any point this season.

Returning for a few innings in September hasn’t been ruled out yet–as opposed to Bryce Harper debuting in September, which Rizzo ruled out yesterday–but obviously the big-picture goal is for Strasburg to be fully healthy and ready to go for Opening Day of next year.

Twins sign Michael Pineda to a two-year deal

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The Twins just announced that they have signed pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year contract.

Pineda, 28, has a 4.05 career ERA and has struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings over 680 career major league innings.

Pineda underwent Tommy John surgery this past July, so the Twins are buying a 2018 filled mostly with rehab and a pitcher for 2019. As such, the deal is probably not too taxing financially, but could pay off pretty well for them if Pineda comes back strong.