Stephen Strasburg’s next start is Thursday … in the minors

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Stephen Strasburg was fantastic Saturday in his fifth minor-league rehab start, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning, but the Nationals are resisting the urge to move up his return timetable.

MLB rosters expand Wednesday, so the Nationals could easily call up Strasburg and essentially have him replace Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation, but instead Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the former No. 1 pick will make another rehab start Thursday, likely at Double-A.

He’s slated to throw 75-80 pitches or six innings, which suggests another strong outing could convince the Nationals to activate him from the disabled list almost exactly 12 months after Tommy John elbow surgery. Not only has Strasburg’s mid-90s fastball already returned with 25 strikeouts in 14.1 innings in the minors, his control has been plenty good as well with just three walks.

Pete Rose dismisses his defamation lawsuit against John Dowd

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Last year Pete Rose field a defamation lawsuit against attorney John Dowd after Dowd gave a radio interview in which he said that Rose had sexual relations with underage girls that amounted to “statutory rape, every time.” Today Rose dismissed the suit.

In a statement issued by Rose’s lawyer and Dowd’s lawyer, the parties say they agreed “based on mutual consideration, to the dismissal with prejudice of Mr. Rose’s lawsuit against Mr. Dowd.” They say they can’t comment further.

Dowd, of course, is the man who conducted the investigation into Rose’s gambling which resulted in the Hit King being placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list back in 1989. The two have sparred through the media sporadically over the years, with Rose disputing Dowd’s findings despite agreeing to his ban back in 1989. Rose has changed his story about his gambling many times, usually when he had an opportunity to either make money off of it, like when he wrote his autobiography, or when he sought, unsuccessfully, to be reinstated to baseball. Dowd has stood by his report ever since it was released.

In the wake of Dowd’s radio comments in 2015, a woman came forward to say that she and Rose had a sexual relationship when she was under the age of 16, seemingly confirming Dowd’s assertion and forming the basis for a strong defense of Rose’s claims (truth is a total defense to a defamation claim). They seem now, however, to have buried the hatchet. Or at least buried the litigation.

That leaves Dowd more free time to defend his latest client, President Trump. And Rose more time to do whatever it is Pete Rose does with his time.