Sep 2, 2015, 6:39 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg will not make his next scheduled start, replaced by Tanner Roark for Friday night’s game against the Braves in D.C., manager Matt Williams told reporters in St. Louis on Wednesday.
Strasburg, who came out of his last start due to a recurrence of neck tightness, has been able to play catch the last two days with no issues. The Nationals, though, want him to throw off a bullpen mound before clearing him to return to game action. He’s now slated to do that Thursday afternoon, prior to the Nats’ home game vs. Atlanta.
It’s unclear when Strasburg will make his next start. He could be bumped only a day or two and still pitch sometime this weekend against the Braves. That, however, would knock him out of next week’s do-or-die series against the Mets, perhaps the Nationals’ last hope of making up significant ground in the NL East.
If the Nationals skip Strasburg’s turn altogether, he could still return to face New York. He originally was slated to go in Wednesday’s series finale, with Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann starting the previous two games, a move by Matt Williams to ensure his top three starters would line up for that critical series.
Roark, meanwhile, rejoins the Nationals’ rotation after a pair of minor-league starts designed to help him build up his pitch count. The club initially planned to have the right-hander replace Joe Ross once the rookie right-hander is shut down due to reaching his workload limit for the season. For now, Roark will take Strasburg’s turn.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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