When Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams spoke to reporters before Monday's scheduled series opener with the Toronto Blue Jays, he said there was no update on Stephen Strasburg at that point because the 26-year-old right-hander hadn't yet met with Dr. Wiemi Douoguih for an examination. Williams said then that there could possibly be an update after the game.
Last night's matchup was, of course, rained out, so there was no post-game press conference.
When he spoke this morning, however, Williams did tell reporters in the nation's capital that the exam confirmed the initial diagnosis of a strain of Strasburg's left trapezius muscle:
Stephen Strasburg has a left trap strain, per Matt Williams. He'll rest and won't throw until issue has gone away.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 2, 2015
Exam of Strasburg confirmed team's initial diagnosis: L trapezius strain. Won't throw til that is healed, but could be only matter of days.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 2, 2015
The plan, Williams explained, as quoted by reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, is for Strasburg to rest until the issue is completely healed:
"He will not throw until that’s taken care of," Williams said. "But it could be within days that it feels better and he’s able to get back out there and do all the things he needs to do to get prepared to pitch again. But for right now, it’s there again, so they’re working on it."
Williams went on to reiterate that the Nationals, their coaches and Strasburg himself have spent considerable time trying to determine what exactly is causing the issues for the '09 no.1 overall pick, who has struggled physically this season and put up numbers that are not in line with what he's proven capable of doing on the mound:
"We’ve looked at it extensively," Williams said. "[Pitching coach Steve McCatty] has looked at it, all the video. There’s minor adjustments that guys make during the course of a season, but nothing that glares at us that he’s changed or that’s drastically different, no."
Williams also dismissed the idea that a DL stint might be a good thing in that it will provide Strasburg an opportunity to sort things out, telling reporters this morning that it's never a good thing to end up on the Disabled List.
After Friday night's early exit, Strasburg is (3-5) through ten starts with a 6.55 ERA, a 3.95 FIP, 14 walks (2.78 BB/9) and 45 Ks (8.93 K/9) in 45 ⅓ IP, over which opposing hitters have a .389 BABIP and a .325/.377/.397 line against him.
As Williams said this weekend, Strasburg is frustrated with the situation he finds himself in right now.
"He's completely frustrated. He's not going out there and giving us a chance to win like he normally does, because he's had to come out of game so quickly, so it's important for us to get him over that. He's bummed out because he's not doing what he wants to do."