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Nationals GM explains Stephen Strasburg’s remarkable recovery

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Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo just held a press conference explaining the whole Stephen Strasburg drama. Or, at the very least, trying to give it some sort of internal uniformity so people will stop saying that the Nationals are all over the place with this.

The high points from Rizzo:

  • Strasburg had fevers, chills, and acute sinusitis yesterday. He was on antibiotics and anti inflammatories, as well as an IV;
  • Strasburg’s antibiotics were switched last night;
  • Strasburg called pitching coach Mike Maddux this morning and said he felt better. When he came to the stadium he told Dusty Baker he wanted to pitch today and everyone agreed that he seemed better.
  • Teammates did not pressure Strasburg into starting, nor did the media coverage. Rizzo said “I don’t think Stephen Strasburg cares” what the media says.

Some may be skeptical about the antibiotic switch doing something in such a short time. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that. Old-timers at this site will remember this story, but I got super sick at the 2012 World Series and got some hella drugs that actually helped me out a lot in a really short period of time. If you’re getting weapons-grade antibiotics and not the “take for seven days” stuff most people get, it can make a difference.

So there we have it. If Strasburg goes out and pitches well, all of this will likely be forgotten. If he’s shelled, well, then I imagine some people will say he wasn’t mentally prepared to pitch because of all of the back and forth and some others might say that he was still too sick and probably shouldn’t have pitched. Many of these people will have said something contradictory to that stance no more than 24 hours earlier, of course, because that’s how that works.

No matter what happens, I presume that a more in depth story about all of this will come out some time this winter contradicting Rizzo to. Because that’s how all of that works too.

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.