Monday night’s marquee matchup between the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg is no more. Strasburg has been scratched from the start due to an upper back strain, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Yusmeiro Petit will make a spot start in his place.
Petit has made 17 appearances this season, all in relief, and has put up a 2.81 ERA with a 25/7 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
This isn’t the first time Strasburg has dealt with back issues, but last year’s issue was a fibrolipoma (benign), which was surgically removed during the offseason. It’s worth noting that parts of Los Angeles County are under an excessive heat warning lasting until 8 PM PDT.
Strasburg owns a spotless 10-0 record with a 2.90 ERA and a 118/24 K/BB ratio in 93 innings over 14 starts this season.
Citing Elias, SportsTalk Live’s Rob Carlin notes that the Kershaw-Strasburg matchup would have been the second in baseball history — and the first in 116 years — featuring two pitchers with at least 10 wins and no more than one loss.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.