Stephen Strasburg

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Stephen Strasburg blames All-Star Game for elbow issue

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg said he might not participate in future All-Star Games as he believes last season’s elbow injury was due to a change in his routine while at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami. Here’s what Strasburg said, via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post:

Might have to rethink about if I’m going to actually pitch or not pitch in an All-Star Game, whether I’ll actually go all together. That was the issue I felt like was the reason why I got hurt. I was on such a good program with the training staff and massage therapists — I was in this routine. Then all of a sudden you’re asked to throw, potentially pitch — maybe not — but not have any access or ability to really stick to your routine. Once that’s over, it’s like right back into it. Bullpen, day off, game. I just know that little lapse, for whatever reason, it pushed me back a bit. It started making my arm hurt.

[…]

My arm felt good before that, then it was like after [the All-Star Game], it just didn’t feel right. I’m glad at that point I kind of tried to put my pride aside and say, hey, I want to be there in the end. So we just had to get it right. No point in pushing through it. I’m glad it worked out that way.

It’s worth noting that the Nationals will host the 2018 All-Star Game.

Strasburg, 29, posted a 3.43 ERA in the first half. In his second start of the second half, he lasted only two innings and soon went on the disabled list for nearly a month with a nerve impingement in his right elbow. He returned in mid-August and compiled a 0.84 ERA across eight starts through the rest of the regular season.

In the past, some players have turned down invitations to participate in the Home Run Derby, citing various reasons like the event potentially messing up their swings or wanting to avoid risking injury. We usually don’t see it for the All-Star Game, but Strasburg may start a new trend.