Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his scheduled start Friday with forearm soreness, but the Nationals insisted at the time that it was minor and sure enough Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that he’s slated to rejoin the rotation Thursday.
Strasburg threw a problem-free bullpen session Monday to get clearance for the start, which would be against the Marlins in Washington. He faced Miami on September 8, allowing four runs in six innings.
Strasburg has already surpassed last season’s abbreviated workload by 11 innings and figures to wind up with around 180-185 total innings if he avoids any further arm problems.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.