Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with neck tightness

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After making an early exit from last night’s start, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to neck tightness.

Strasburg threw just 16 pitches in his start against the Reds last night before leaving in the bottom of the second inning. The specific diagnosis was tightness in his left trapezius muscle. Strasburg left a start against the Marlins on May 5 with discomfort under his right shoulder blade, but it’s unclear whether the issues are related.

One thing that is clear is that Strasburg hasn’t looked like himself for a while now. He owns a 6.55 ERA through 10 starts this season (second-highest in the majors among pitchers with 40 innings pitched) and hasn’t completed six innings in a start since April 25. He has a 45/14 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings and his velocity has been fine, but his swinging strike rate sits at seven percent, which is four percent below his career average and 1.9 percent below the league average for starters so far this season.

It’s worth noting that Strasburg sprained his left ankle late in spring training, so some have speculated that he changed something to compensate for the injury. Who knows if that’s actually the case, but simply getting some time off just to regroup could be beneficial.

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.