Stephen Strasburg expected to return for series against Mets next week

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Stephen Strasburg is having his turn skipped this Friday against the Braves after he came out his most recent start last Sunday with discomfort in his upper back, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNMidAtlantic.com reports that he’s on track to return for a crucial series against the first-place Mets next week.

After throwing off flat ground on Tuesday and Wednesday, Strasburg made it through a bullpen session this afternoon with no pain. The plan calls for him to make his return in the series finale against the Mets next Wednesday, with Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmerman pitching in the first two games.

Strasburg has been much more like his usual self since June, but he showed a noticeable dip in velocity in his start against the Marlins last Sunday while allowing four runs on four hits (including two home runs) over four innings. The Nationals will have to hope that the time off did him some good.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.