Stephen Strasburg left Tuesday’s start after three innings with “discomfort under his shoulder blade”

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was forced out of Tuesday’s start after just three innings due to what the team is calling “discomfort under his shoulder blade.”

Strasburg insisted after the game that injury isn’t serious, telling Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that he thinks visiting a chiropractor could fix things:

I think it’s something where I just need to get an adjustment, or something like that. The best way I can put it: You’re driving a car fast over speed bumps. The irritation kind of rattles the cage a little bit.

For now he’ll remain on the active roster, but he was clearly in significant discomfort during the game. Zuckerman writes that Strasburg “grimaced several times after throwing pitches in the first inning, then again in the top of the second” and apparently it was also an issue during his previous start.

His velocity has been just fine in the mid-90s and he’s got 32 strikeouts in 32 innings, but Strasburg has walked 10 batters and opponents are hitting .309 off him (and the defense behind him, of course).

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.