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Strasburg to make rehab start Wednesday at Harrisburg

Jun 15, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT

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Stephen Strasburg will make a rehab start Wednesday afternoon for Class AA Harrisburg, his first game appearance since going on the disabled list two weeks ago with a strained left trapezius muscle.

Strasburg is slated to pitch in Harrisburg against Richmond at noon Wednesday, the Senators announced.

This rehab assignment comes after Strasburg threw 60 pitches to live hitters in a simulated game in Milwaukee on Friday, reporting no problems with his neck or upper back, which had been given him problems over the last month.

If Strasburg is able to build up to roughly 75 pitches in Harrisburg with no discomfort, the Nationals could deem him ready to return to their rotation after only one rehab start. The club won’t make that decision, though, until seeing how he responds to pitching at full velocity in a game situation, the only situations to date that have caused him discomfort.

After suffering an ankle sprain in spring training that forced him to alter his mechanics, Strasburg endured through an erratic April to begin his season. He then battled through the first prolonged struggle of his career in May, going 1-3 with a 10.13 ERA in five starts. In four of those outings, he failed to complete four innings, in part due to the neck/back discomfort.

Strasburg’s final start, May 29 in Cincinnati, lasted only one inning and 16 pitches, finally prompting the Nationals to place him on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as a strained left trapezius muscle. He has worked with pitching coach Steve McCatty since on improving his mechanics, most notably adjusting his landing spot as he throws pitches off the mound.

  1. Drew - Jun 15, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    Good luck to the daring young man with the flaying trapezius.

    • adcwonk - Jun 15, 2015 at 3:11 PM

      wow 😉

  2. scnatsfan - Jun 15, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    We could really use him, well, the old him. Lets hope he rocks his start and feels good.

  3. manassasnatsfan - Jun 15, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Want to see the 2014 Strasburg to return

  4. micksback1 - Jun 15, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    Well I am glad to see Stephen shaved that ridiculous beard. He looks good and maybe this could be all part of a fresh start. maybe a good psychologist is something the Nats should invest in, it can only help. I hope Stephen realizes that he should strive to be another Max. I would assume he believes he can. Time is running out.

    • stoatva - Jun 15, 2015 at 1:41 PM

      Heh. Bad beard makes one look much less menacing than no beard.

  5. #4 - Jun 15, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    Chiming in very late on yestreday’s game…

    1. Yes I am still surprised/disappointed that Braun’s tower wasn’t buzzed. We’ll see how that all plays out. Scherzer was obviously dominant.

    2. What was striking to me yestreday was the difference in Scherzer’s body language as compared to his last two starts. He was clearly frustrated with how many times he had to shake off in the previous games – not so much yesterday. I’m not in the “bench Ramos” camp, and I know all the advanced stats say that Labaton is not very good, but at least for yesterday, MS was clearly more comfortable with him than he was with Ramos last time out.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 15, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      Knowing you need to use a second catcher anyway, maybe having Loboton with Scherzer could be an answer anyway.

      • jd - Jun 15, 2015 at 1:45 PM

        manassas,

        I think the problem is that both Gio and Stras do better with Lobaton as well.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:06 PM

        Well for those with short memories, Strasburg didn’t get along well with Lobaton at times last year.

        Gio works well with Lobaton.

      • Doc - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM

        I remember the recent game with Stras and Ramos jawing in the dugout. It generated some fun NI video of Bull Durham with Costner and Robbins.

        Not sure there is a C made to cope with Stras. Maybe his momma should catch him!!!! LOL

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM

      Some changes with Scherzer as I wrote is that he abandoned the cutter and is no longer throwing it and if you watched his start last week he could not locate his 4-seamer as it was missing by 10 inches or more going right to left and his frustration was with himself. He had to gut through that start.

      I also give Joe Ross credit for exposing the Brewers line-up for Scherz and Loby to diagram how to pitch them. They had 3 previous games to sit and observe.

      People who think it’s easy to pitch an out of division opponent on the first game of a series is easy, think again.

      • virginiascopist - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:41 PM

        “People who think it’s easy to pitch an out of division opponent on the first game of a series is easy, think again.”

        I guess Gio will have his work cut out for him tonight. Then, again, so will the Rays’ starter, Erasmo Ramirez.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:48 PM

        Virginiacopist, correct it goes both ways and Gio knows Asdrubal and Souza and has pitched against some of the veteran Rays from his time in the AL.

  6. kgwcoach - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Knowing that Loboton was going to catch him Sunday the two of them spent 3 games discussing how to pitch to the Brewers hitters. That helped to have them both on the same page. If Lobotron talks with every pitcher he catches prepping two three games in advance the pitcher is going to be more comfortable throwing to him rather than Ramos. To me it just says that Lobo is a damn good backup catcher. IMO the jury is still out on whether he would be a better everyday player than Ramos.

  7. jd - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    I think I’m in the minority here but IMO now is a great time to send Ross back to Harrisburg. You want to have your young developing pitchers feel good about their experience and I think that sooner or later every young pitcher takes his lumps and I’d rather not have to make a decision coming of a rough start.

    Again, I may be in the minority here but I trust Roark to right his ship. Keep in mind that Ross is always one phone call away and he has really put himself in a nice position to compete for a starting role next year. I would send him down now and Hill when Stras returns.

    • Tyler Babip - Jun 15, 2015 at 3:29 PM

      +1

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    Talk about intel you have Lobaton who played for the Rays. He should have a good idea on a few of the veteran players like Longo.

    • jd - Jun 15, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      The Nats in general should have good intel on 2 of the Rays regulars (Asdrubal and Souza).

  9. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 15, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    I agree that Ross is likely to encounter some rough patches — teams have accumulated a lot of pixels on him — but that is not a reason to send him back to Harrisburg. The bullpen needs Roark more right now than does the rotation. If Ross can give them just one more five-inning start — I’m not asking much — he’ll have performed a great service. In his next start, or two, Ross’s problem will be he throws too many strikes. I’m not against throwing strikes but he probably needs to refine his command a little bit, focusing on the edges of the strike zone. Hitters now know he isn’t going to nibble, or throw much out of the strike zone, so they will be aggressive and swing at the first good pitch they see. I’d like to see him available as a fifth-sixth inning option in September.

    • unkyd59 - Jun 16, 2015 at 5:34 AM

      He’s got enough movement on his stuff to induce weak contact, even if they do start hacking. I think that’s how lots of good pitchers keep their pitch counts down… No nibbling, thank you very much… Throw strikes, and trust your defense…. Or as Admiral Lord Nelson may have said, “Nevermind manouvers, go right at’em!”

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