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Stephen Strasburg dealing with forearm tightness

Apr 29, 2013, 10:35 PM EDT

Nationals starting pitcher Strasburg throws to the Mets in the second inning of their MLB National League game in New York Reuters

Here’s something Nationals fans don’t want to hear.

According to Mark Zuckerman of, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after tonight’s game that Stephen Strasburg is currently dealing with right forearm tightness. Strasburg allowed two runs on six hits and four walks over six innings tonight as part of a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Braves.

Of course, Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2010 and missed nearly one year of action. The Nationals infamously shut him down last year after 159 1/3 innings in his first full season back from surgery. While the shutdown was aimed at keeping him healthy for the long-term, there was no way to know whether the team’s approach would prove successful. Mike Rizzo and company are crossing their fingers right now.

Strasburg is currently being examined by a doctor while Johnson said that it’s too soon to say whether he’ll be available for his next scheduled start. However, given his previous Tommy John surgery and his importance to the rotation, one would think that he would get a bit of a break even if the issue is deemed minor. The Nationals could use Zach Duke for a spot-start.

UPDATE: Stephen Strasburg told Mark Zuckerman of that his arm feels fine and that he will not miss a start. While it’s nice to hear that he’s upbeat about the situation, the Nationals may have other plans.

  1. yahmule - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I’m crossing my fingers, too.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 30, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      this guy should be placed in a glass case that never opens.
      some things are nice to look at but can’t touch.

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Uh Oh!!

  3. BPKay - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    obviously the nats should have limited him to 150 ip last year. When will teams learn that they shouldn’t strain their young pitching staff, even when they have a legitimate shot at a pennant?

  4. thebadguyswon - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Wow. That sucks.

  5. Walk - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    I hope he is ok and it is just a strain from too much xbox or something.

  6. mj1818 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Hopefully we don’t have another mark prior situation. It’s good for baseball if this kid stays healthy.

    • xmatt0926x - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

      There seems to be a solid chance that he will join the club of once explosive prospects who ended up pitching most of their career at 75% of their once-great ability because their arm just couldn’t support the crazy stuff they have. This guy always brings Kerry Wood to mind. Have many guys with that kind of insane stuff ever been able to spend the majority of his career throwing it?

      • hittfamily - Apr 30, 2013 at 5:18 AM

        Players who played this decade: Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro, Mariano, Smoltz, Schilling, Halladay, Sabathia, Oswalt, Hoffman, Wagner, Percival.

        Guys with insane stuff that haven’t spent the majority of their career throwing it: Wood, Prior.

        I like his chances for staying healthy, throwing “insane stuff” for the majority of his career.

      • melkipershero - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        It’s not his stuff, it’s his throwing motion. This was said even before he was drafted. Throws the exact same motion as Mark Prior.

      • scotttheskeptic - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    • evanwins - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      Why is Strasburg better for baseball than any other pitcher? Because he’s been the beneficiary of so much unwarranted hype? I have never EVER heard of so many people calling a guy who has never even seen the eight inning an ace.

      Maybe baseball writers should be more prudent with regards to where they spend their seemingly limitless cache of superlatives (“This guy is the best in baseball.” for half of the guys who play that position. THey can’t all be the greatest, it’s literally impossible) Then a truly deserving pitcher who can dominate for 9 innings can be good for baseball.

      So do ahead and thumbs down a completely accurate statement.

      • dprat - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:02 AM

        There appear to be at least four factual errors in your “completely accurate statement.”

      • fanofevilempire - Apr 30, 2013 at 6:52 AM

        Harvey is better and beat him too.

      • voteforno6 - Apr 30, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        Harvey is a young pitcher with some talent. We’ll see how good he is once the rest of the league gets a book on him.

      • realgone2 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        I like how Dprat make a remark how it wasn’t an accurate statement and then didn’t follow up with why it wasn’t. I agree with evanwins. So dprat please enlighten us simpletons.

  7. evanwins - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Did anyone watch this game? There were at least 4 calls, including a scoring play, that the umps got wrong in the Braves favor. It seems as though the Braves are constantly the beneficiaries of bad calls.

    • voteforno6 - Apr 30, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      Laz Diaz seems to be a bad umpire. I base that judgment on the fact that I even know his name. I can’t say whether he favored one team or the other, though. He had a floating strike zone for the entire game, but it didn’t seem like Teheran put enough pitches on the black for it to make a difference.

      • realgone2 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        Diaz is a notoriously bad umpire. Like voteforno6 said “I know his name”. As for the Braves, they did have those calls go their way last night, but no more than any other team. It’s perfectly fine to say that those bad calls most certainly helped the Braves win last night. They did, but to say they somehow always get calls to go their way is just BS.

      • voteforno6 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Agreed. It’s not like they’re the Yankees.

    • js20011041 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:03 AM

      Bad calls go against all teams. Quit playing a victim.

    • dakotah55 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      I’m a Nats fan and I have to disagree. Diaz was incompetent, but I believe it was completely unbiased incompetence.

    • mobetta42 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Everybody knows Laz Diaz is terrible. The bad calls went both ways. The pick off play on Freeman where he was safe by a mile?

      Quit whining.

      • voteforno6 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

        That was the first base umpire, not Laz Diaz. Also, Span looked like he made it back to first, yet he was still called out. So, call it a wash.

      • mobetta42 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        To voteforno6 – yes, I am aware. I was making separate points, which is why I put the sentence in between saying the bad calls went both ways. Laz Diaz is terrible and also there was a bad call on Freeman…

  8. 12strikes - Apr 30, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    As we speak, Rizzo is dusting off a place in the shelf for S.S.

  9. melkipershero - Apr 30, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    Forearm strain = Tommy John soon. They go hand in hand. Now thumbs down Nats fans, but after he has TJ again remember who said it.

  10. someguyinva - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    There was a moment in last night’s game that went unremarked upon by the Nats’ broadcasters where Strasburg was sort of shaking his arm while waiting for the ball to be returned from the outfield after a hit. My video-fu is too weak and pathetic for me to go look for it.

    • js20011041 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      Yeah, Sutcliffe also said he noticed Strasburg trying to stretch out his shoulder. Of course he also said that John Buck was the best acquisition of the offseason, so take that with a staggeringly large grain of salt.

      • realgone2 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        Hey when he said that about Buck. I laughed out loud. Was Rick drunk last night?

      • js20011041 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        I don’t think he was drunk, I’m just not sure he’s all that bright. Or at the very least, he’s unqualified to be analyzing player acquistions. This is the thing about ex-ballplayers. They’re great at explaining the technical/mechanical side of baseball. Not so much when it comes to analytics. I guarantee you when he sees a player like John Buck, he doesn’t look at his track record and think, “he’s probably going to come back down to earth.”

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      In fairness … the fewer remarks from F.P. Santangelo, the better.

      • someguyinva - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Still better than Dibble.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Definitely can’t argue with that.

  11. kvanhorn87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    And this is why they should have taken the chance last year. You never know when you will be back there.

  12. pdowdy83 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Not sure if anyone else noticed that he retired the last 6 Braves he faced and in his last inning of work he was brilliant striking out the side and the last one was a 98 MPH fastball that blew by BJ Upton. I don’t know too many guys who are seriously hurt who do that. Could simply just be something like he slept on his arm funny or a case of dead arm but since it is Strasburg everyone is jumping into the deep end that it must mean he needs TJ surgery again.

    He was wild at the beginning of the game but Diaz was also terrible with his strike zone so the 4BBs could have easily been 2 instead of 4.

    • hasbeen5 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      I don’t dispute that Diaz is a bad umpire, but it is pretty easy to call a pitch a ball when it bangs off the backstop. I don’t think umpiring cost Strasburg 2 walks. I thought the Span call at first was right, the Freeman call probably was too. The timing call on the run was wrong. Perfect example of how replay could be used, and since that play is always the 3rd out, they can review between innings and get the score right. No delay, no runners to put back.

  13. runteddyrun - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Someone needs to light a fire under this team.

  14. dirtydrew - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Boy, I thought the World Series champion was crowned in March. Only on ESPN. Go Champs, Go GIANTS!

    • pdowdy83 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Oh yeah. The Giants who are a grand total of 1 game better than the Nationals. I think both organizations would have to say it is too early in the season to draw conclusions.

  15. dowhatifeellike - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Anyone could see that his mechanics had been especially poor of late. Effective or no, he should have been skipped a few starts until he worked out his motion in side sessions.

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