Stephen Strasburg throws five innings in first rehab start

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg made his first minor-league rehab start this afternoon at Double-A, throwing five innings of two-run ball as he comes back from a strained trapezius muscle.

Strasburg struck out six, walked none, and allowed four hits on a total of 71 pitches, so it sounds like things went pretty well.

Washington might not be in a huge rush to get Strasburg back from the disabled list considering how poorly he pitched before being shut down–posting a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts–but if they think one rehab start is enough he could rejoin the rotation as soon as next week.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.