Stephen Strasburg is in the best shape of his life

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Stephen Strasburg’s recovery from Tommy John surgery is going swimmingly, he says, and what’s more, he told CBS’s Ted Robinson that he’s feeling great:

“I’m definitely in the best shape of my life … Once you start throwing, it’s gonna be a long process just getting your strength back, but I feel great about it and I have a really good feeling that I’m gonna come back at 100 percent. … The surgery’s down to a science, and you’ve just got to do what the doctors tell you.”

Not the usual best-shape-of-his-life story because a lot of us have underwear older than Strasburg, and guys who play the BSoML card are usually older guys fighting physical decline.  But hey, it’s mid-January and nothing is going on so we’ll certainly take it.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.