Stephen Strasburg tested his strained lat muscle by throwing a bullpen session this afternoon and it went poorly enough that the Nationals have placed him on the disabled list.
Because the move is backdated to Strasburg’s last start Friday he’ll be eligible to come off the disabled list on June 16. In the meantime Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that the Nationals aren’t sure who’ll fill in for Strasburg this weekend, in part because Ross Detwiler won’t be ready to return from an oblique injury of his own yet.
Before leaving Friday’s start after just two innings Strasburg had thrown 72 innings with a 2.49 ERA and 71/21 K/BB ratio this season, including a 0.96 ERA in his last four outings.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.