Stephen Strasbourg returns to the injured list

WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasbourg is back on the injured list less than a week after returning from a year-long sideline.

Strasbourg, who was due to start on Tuesday, had experienced discomfort after throwing the bulls session on Saturday, and underwent an MRI on Monday. After the Nationals lost 9-5 to the Braves, coach Dave Martinez said he will have more information about Strasbourg on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old right-hander was back on the pile on Thursday, dropping seven runs in eight strokes and two over 4 and 2/3 innings against the Marlins. Aside from fatigue in his legs, Strasbourg told Martinez he feels good after his first appearance of the season.

But on Sunday, Strasbourg alerted the team that it “was not feeling well”.

“We were hoping it was just something that would go away,” Martinez said. “She didn’t. … We don’t know if it’s the same problem or not yet, but we’ll know more… Once we get the MRI and the doctors read the picture. But it sucks, because he was excited to be back. But I hope it’s just A simple setback.”

The past two years have seen injuries to Strasbourg. The 2020 season was limited to five rounds due to carpal tunnel surgery on his right hand, and the following season was cut at 21 2/3 frames for thoracic outlet surgery. Strasbourg rehabed hard this spring at the Nationals training complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, and threw three rehabs in the Minor League before being reinstated.

“This is a relatively new surgery after talking to doctors and trainers and it affects men differently,” Martinez said of thoracic outlet surgery. “After the surgery, you can see things in a larger scale and hope they’ll come back and they can put in their shows and all of a sudden they’re kind of the person they were before. But you don’t know what to expect, you don’t know how long before you get the afternoon. I’ve seen this before on other guys, and it took a while. Some guys, a couple of years ago were able to come back and really beat it. So hopefully that’s not the case for Stephen. Like I said, it’s completely different for every bowler.”

When Strasbourg is healthy, it can establish a starting spin. After running 5-0 in the post-season and being named World Player of the Year for 2019, he signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Nationals. Strasbourg’s long-term health outweighs its promotion through the annoyance of the present.

“As I’ve said all along, we’re going to be as careful with him as possible and try to do everything right for Stephen and this organization going forward,” Martinez said. “Now, we’re on those bumpy roads, and we’ll see what happens.”

The Nationals fill up Strasbourg’s place in Tuesday’s starting rotation by calling up Jackson Tetrott of Triple-A Rochester to make his major league debut. Tetreault, 26, is 5-3 with a 4.19 ERA across 12 starts (58 innings) this season with the Red Wings. He’s on schedule to play, having last stepped up on Tuesday. Nats selected Tetreault in the seventh round of the 2017 draft.

“It was good,” Martinez said. “He has a mixture of three different pitches. He throws shots which is a beautiful thing. He was doing really well there, so we will give him a chance to put on a show here.”

Although Josiah Gray did not make his scheduled start Monday after a 1 hour 33-minute rain delay, the Nationals are treating the pre-game warm-up as a working session, so he won’t be available the next day.

“He won’t be doing a show tomorrow,” Martinez said. “He got hot. He threw, I think, 37 field pitches. I mean, he was hot and ready to go.”

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