Stephen Strasburg’s next start is Sunday versus the Astros


Stephen Strasburg looked fantastic in his first start back from Tommy John elbow surgery, averaging 96 miles per hour with his fastball while throwing five shutout innings Tuesday night, so the Nationals will keep him on a normal rest schedule for his next turn in the rotation.

Strasburg is slated to make his second start Sunday versus the Astros, which means a second straight matchup against one of the NL’s worst lineups. He held the punchless Dodgers to just two hits while working on 12 months and three days of rest Tuesday.

Assuming the Nationals continue to start Strasburg every fifth game for the remainder of the season he’d wind up making a total of five starts against the Dodgers, Astros, Marlins, Phillies, and Marlins again. As a rookie last season he made 12 starts before being shut down.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.