Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been sidelined since July 4 with a left oblique strain, but it sounds like he’s rounding into form for the stretch run.
According to Chase Hughes of CSNMA.com, Strasburg struck out 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings tonight in his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse. He threw a total of 85 pitches while allowing two runs on five hits and no walks. This was his second minor league rehab start, as he gave up three runs over four innings last Wednesday. He currently lines up to return this weekend against the Rockies.
This has been a frustrating season for Strasburg, who previously missed four weeks with a trapezius strain. He has an uncharacteristic 5.16 ERA with a 63/18 K/BB ratio over 61 innings and will look to finish the season strong.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this afternoon that the Phillies signed veteran reliever Drew Storen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. If Storen makes the major league roster, he will earn a $750,000 salary.
Storen, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 with the Reds. That year, he posted a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Storen then underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 campaign. He inked a minor league deal with the Royals last year but struggled in nine appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, resulting in his being released in June.
Robert Murray reports that the Phillies have also signed pitcher Bud Norris to a minor league contract. The right-hander, who turns 35 years old in March, missed the 2019 season due to a forearm injury. Norris was last seen in the majors in 2018 with the Cardinals, compiling a 3.59 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings of relief.
The Phillies had major bullpen problems last year and haven’t otherwise made any new additions so far this offseason. They’re hoping Storen and Norris have a little bit left in the tank.