Davey Martinez said going into last night’s series opener in Oriole Park that he and his staff and the Washington Nationals’ trainers would be watching Stephen Strasburg closely after the nerve impingement in his right wrist which had kept him off the mound for the first few weeks of the season acted up again in his 2020 debut.
“We’ve got to be smart about this. If he’s out there and he starts shaking his hand all over the place, we’re going to have to do something else,” Martinez told reporters early Friday afternoon.
“I don’t want this to become an issue somewhere else or him change something, because he was in a good place, and we want to keep him there.”
Strasburg ended up throwing just 16 pitches, one of which left the yard, before Martinez and team trainer Paul Lessard walked to the mound to tell their 32-year-old, 2019 World Series MVP that he was done for the night.
Strasburg was shaking his hand out after pitches, and grimacing noticeably after several offerings, and his control wasn’t there either, with just 7 of 16 pitches thrown for strikes.
What did Martinez see from his starter?
“Same thing,” he explained, “... we watched him and honestly I didn’t like what I saw. I told Paul we were going to out, and I told him then and there, ‘Hey, I don’t want you to continue right now.’
“I mean, I appreciated — I talked to him after he came out and I appreciated him trying to gut it out, but I don’t want this to become a bigger issue if something else goes wrong, so he’s going to get reevaluated here tomorrow and we’ll know more tomorrow.
“But he’s a big part of our future, and I don’t see him getting hurt any more right now until we figure out what’s really going on.”
Strasburg declined to speak with reporters last night, with a team spokesperson saying he would address the situation when he knew more about what was going on with his hand.
Martinez said that after what he saw, he thought they had to all sit down and think about the next step.
“I honestly believe at this point that we need to really look at this very closely and see what happens here in the next few days,” Martinez said.
“I’m not going to run him out there like that. He was upset. He wanted to be out there. But I’m not going to see him go through that. I mean, he’s one of our best and to see him try to gut it out like that, I appreciate it, we all did, but man, we’ve got to take care of him. So at this point right now, like I said, we’ll reevaluate him and we’ll go from there.
“Timeline, I can’t tell you. Hopefully we get him back sooner than later, but we’re going to really try to take care of him and get him back completely healthy.”
Before they can get him healthy, they have to figure out exactly what’s going on in his right wrist.
“Right now he just says his thumb just goes numb, there’s like tingling in there, and they said it’s from his wrist, that’s all I know,” his manager said.