Updating reporters on Stephen Strasburg’s status on Wednesday, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said the 32-year-old starter, whose initial appearance of the 2020 campaign was delayed by a nerve impingement in his right wrist/thumb, is improving.
“He’s got very minimal pain,” Martinez said, “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.
“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.”
Strasburg threw again yesterday, and his manager said he came out of it fine and will take another step soon.
“Stras felt good yesterday again,” Martinez said, “today he’s going to throw on flat ground. He’s going to mix in all his pitches today, he was just — yesterday he was just throwing fastballs, today he’s going to mix in a couple breaking balls, fastballs on flat ground, and if that goes well, then next time throwing will be off the mound, but he’s doing a lot better.”
Martinez said how quickly Strasburg progresses will determine where the Nationals go from there, as far as whether or not the right-hander can jump back in when he’s ready, or if he’ll need to face hitters first before returning to the rotation.
“I don’t know,” Martinez said. “We’ll see how much time he misses and where he’s at when he comes back. I think that’s going to determine whether he needs to face any hitters.
‘If he does want to face them, we definitely could use maybe a sim game to get some of our bench players some at bats again. We’ll see when that time comes.”
If, for any reason, they’d have to place Strasburg on the IL, his manager said, they could only backdate it three days, as opposed to going back to the start of the season.
“I think we can only back date him to three days,” Martinez explained.
“But I think he’s in a good spot right now. Like I said, he’s not feeling that little nerve issue any more. He feels fine.
“Hopefully we can get through this and he throws better today and we can get him out on the mound as soon as possible.”