Stephen Strasburg homers, leaves with biceps tightness

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Stephen Strasburg had a very eventful day Sunday in the Nationals’ 9-3 win over the Orioles. He hit his first big-league homer off Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen, but he left the game after five innings with some biceps tightness.

”I don’t care who it was, if I find out they have tightness, they’re out”‘ manager Davey Johnson said. ”I talked to him later in the game. He said it relaxed a bit and was a lot better. I’m not as concerned when it’s in the biceps.”

Strasburg echoed those thoughts:

”The biceps is fine,” he said. ”It’s just throwing a lot of pitches early, then we put up a lot of runs and stuff. I just got a little tired, got a little tight, but that’s nothing different than any other outing.”

For now, Strasburg appears to be penciled in to make his next start, though since he’s on an innings limit this year anyway, the Nationals could always choose to give him a little break. Or they could always try him in left field. Strasburg went 2-for-2 today and is 6-for-16 with four extra-base hits at the plate this season. He was just 1-for-26 lifetime entering the season.

On the mound, Strasburg allowed three runs — one earned — in his five innings today. He fanned eight and threw 91 pitches.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.