Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez talked in his pregame Zoom conference call this afternoon about the decision to place Stephen Strasburg on the 10-Day Injured List one day after the right-hander was lifted just 16 pitches into his start in Baltimore.
A press release on the decision said the 32-year-old starter has carpal tunnel neuritis of the right hand.
“He’s going to have a follow-up Monday, they’re going to do some nerve tests on his hand, so we’ll see what happens,” Martinez said.
“I don’t think this is going to get better soon. We tried. So right now we’re just going to try to see if we can get him healthy.”
Considering Strasburg conceded that the issue which delayed the start of his season came back in his 2020 debut last Sunday, were there any regrets about sending him back out for another start?
“No. I mean, he felt like he could pitch. He built up. He threw a good bullpen,” Martinez said.
“It just gets to that point where like I said his thumb just goes numb, and he’ll try to shake it out. Sometimes it feels better, sometimes it doesn’t, and when I watched him yesterday, I just thought I didn’t want him to go through that. So the best thing to do is let’s just figure out what it is and get it right.”
The next step now, Martinez reiterated, is to get tests done on the wrist so they can figure out how to proceed.
Martinez declined to speculate if the nerve issue in his wrist is tied to some other issue, or a sign of a bigger problem. Their sole focus, rather than speculating, is getting him right.
“He tried to pitch with it. It didn’t work out, but we want to get him healthy. Like I said, this guy is a big part of our future,” the manager explained.
“We don’t want to jeopardize anything at this point right now. So get him healthy, and when he’s back and 100%, he’ll start pitching again.”
Given the relatively short length of this 60-game season, the injuries around the league, and the way things have gone for Strasburg so far, has any thought been given to shutting down the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick, who signed a 7-year/$245M deal with the club this winter?
“Right now, we’re focused on Monday,” he said, “and [we’ll] see what they say Monday, and then we’ll go from there.
“We’re going to listen to what the doctors have to say, and the professionals, and then come up with something after that, so we’ll see how everything plays out next week and hopefully we get some good news, but we’ll see.”
Strasburg’s reaction to landing on the IL?
“No one is ever happy about being hurt,” Martinez said.
“The first thing that comes to your mind as a player is that he can’t help his teammates, and it’s not a good feeling. But with everything that he’s gone through over the last few weeks, I told him, ‘I think it’s the best thing not only for you, but for us too to get you right,’ because we’ve still got baseball [to play]. I know it’s a shortened season but the best of the season is still to come, and hopefully when we’re fighting at the end here he’s available.
“Let’s get you right for that. We’ll see what transpires from these exams that he’s going to get this week and then we’ll go from there.
“But he was — I think he didn’t want to accept it but he accepted it, let’s put it that way.”