When he spoke with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies early Wednesday morning, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo provided an update on Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ 29-year-old right-hander, who landed on the 10-Day DL back on July 24th with a right elbow nerve impingement.
“Stras threw a bullpen in Chicago, a successful bullpen,” Rizzo said, “40 pitches or so.
“He’s going to progress to a simulated game soon, and if it all goes well, he’ll go on a rehab start and if it all goes well, he’ll be back in the rotation.”
Strasburg threw that sim game Wednesday afternoon in the nation’s capital, with Jayson Werth and Andrew Stevenson standing as live hitters.
Strasburg threw four innings, sitting down between “innings” to simulate an actual start and throwing a total of 57 pitches. He told reporters afterwards that he came through it fine.
Strasburg said he threw 57 pitches over 4 simulated innings. Said his arm "feels really good." Expects next step to be a rehab start.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 9, 2017
Strasburg on his throwing session today which included 4 ups and downs and 57 pitches. "It feels really good and I'm really happy w/ it."— Craig Heist (@cheistsports) August 9, 2017
Rizzo talked about that next step as well, telling The Sports Junkies that they were taking a cautious approach with Strasburg because they can.
“He’s able to pitch in games, we’re just being cautious with him. He’s had the Tommy John, he’s had an elbow scope in the past, so we’re maintaining it.”
Asked if two weeks was a reasonable expectation for when Strasburg could return, Rizzo said that sounded about right.
“I think that’s a reasonable timeline, but I hate giving timelines, because things change, and that type of thing, and you give expectations to the player, to the team, and the fanbase, and then you have to push it back a little bit.
“The good thing is that he’s throwing the ball well, he’s throwing the ball free and easy, and there’s no pain, and now it’s just ramping him back up to get some pitches under his belt.”
Strasburg told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that he was pleased with the results of his simulated outing.
“It feels really good,” [Strasburg] said. “I’m definitely happy with it. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
“I wasn’t really apprehensive about it,” Strasburg said about going into the sim game.
“It’s felt much better the last couple days.”
“It felt good in the last bullpen, so it’s just getting better and better every day.”
Before the injury, Strasburg was (10-3) in 20 starts, with a 3.25 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 37 walks (2.74 BB/9), 141 Ks (10.43 K/9), and a .215/.282/.357 line against in 121 2⁄3 IP.