UPDATE: Stephen Strasburg diagnosed with shoulder inflammation

6 Comments

UPDATE: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that an MRI and X-ray on Stephen Strasburg showed only inflammation in his right shoulder and no structural damage, reports Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

7:34 PM: According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made the decision to pull the plug after Stephen Strasburg was having trouble getting loose.

The Nats are calling it precautionary, however Strasburg is scheduled to undergo an MRI and an X-ray, just to cover all the necessary bases. Whatever your team affiliation, let’s hope it’s nothing.

7:07 PM: According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from Tuesday’s start against the Braves. The reason why isn’t immediately clear.

For those without the benefit of the MASN feed, Strasburg was warming up in front of Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty before the game and it was pretty clear something just wasn’t right. Ivan Rodriguez could be seen consoling Strasburg before he left the bullpen mound. Miguel Batista came out to start Tuesday’s game, instead.

It’s disappointing for those who wanted to see Strasburg face Jason Heyward, but the Nationals aren’t going to gamble on the future of their franchise, not when they are 15 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East. We’ll pass along further information when it is made available.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

Getty Images
4 Comments

Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.