Stephen Strasburg talked after he was scratched from his planned start against the New York Yankees on Saturday about the nerve issue in his right thumb/wrist which had been bothering him for a while at that point.
“It’s something that kind of just — didn’t really know what was going on,” Strasburg said.
“it started out probably at like the end of the first week in camp. I was waking up in the middle of the night and my hand was asleep, kept falling asleep.
“And I was getting these feelings, and it wasn’t really bothering me throwing, and it seemed like once we started to try to ramp up and stuff, the symptoms seemed to increase.”
“It really is something the last two intrasquad games or whatever I was feeling it pretty regularly,” he explained, “and just something you try to throw through, and after I got out of the last start, issues just kind of kept persisting. I saw that there was nerve impingement in my wrist, got a cortisone shot to hopefully create some more space in there to let it calm down and get back to feeling normal.”
Asked at the time if he thought he’d end up on the Injured List, Strasburg said it wasn’t up to him.
“I’m not the one that makes the decisions when it comes to IL and all that stuff,” Strasburg said. “But I got the injection yesterday, and I’m already noticing some improvement in the feeling in my thumb and my fingers, and the doctor pretty much explained to me, is that nerves are pretty fickle, and you respond differently to the injection, so it’s just a matter of letting the medicine do what it does. I’m being optimistic. I feel like I’m already seeing improvement, and it’s less than 24 hours since I had the last shot, so I think I’m just going to take it one day at a time, and that’s all you really can do.”
Davey Martinez has been updating reporters on Strasburg’s progress since, and the skipper said on Wednesday afternoon that club was taking a cautious approach with the 32-year-old right-hander, especially in light of some of the injuries pitches have dealt with over the past week-plus since the 2020 campaign started.
“We’re watching all this stuff,” Martinez explained. “I meet with the medical staff twice daily and we talk about other teams, and the issues that they’re having as well. We’re going to do everything we can to keep these guys healthy.
“With Stephen, like I said, he’s day-to-day, he felt good yesterday, he’s going to throw again today.
“He’s got very minimal pain, if not any pain in his thumb now, so hopefully we get through this and he can come back and pitch and help us win ballgames. Like I said, we want to make sure that this doesn’t become an issue or problem somewhere else. We want to make sure that his mechanics are right, that he’s throwing the ball properly, and he’s able to go out there and do what he’s capable of doing.”
The ramp up in Spring Training 1.0, the months off, and the quick pace of ST 2.0, is that behind some of the injuries around the league?
“It’s really hard to say,” Martinez said.
“They had a significant amount of time off, they got ramped up, but they had a lot of time off, and you don’t really know what everybody did the three months. And all of a sudden now they come back and you get three weeks.
“They ramped it up again pretty good to get ready, and like I said, we’re keeping a close eye on our guys and their mechanics and throughout the games watching our pitchers, and really paying attention to where they’re at, how they’re using their legs, if their mechanics are going sideways on them, per inning, or whatever, just to make sure that we’re not going to hurt them that we keep them here for the long-run.”
What will Strasburg be up to in the next few days?
“He’s going to throw about 75-80 feet,” Martinez said.
“Yesterday he threw about maybe 75%, today he’s going to kind of air it out a little bit and see where he’s at, and if he passes that, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and he might throw a side in a day or two.”
So he’s only thrown on flat ground so far? “Yeah, it’s only been flat ground.”