STRASBURG GETTING CLOSER:
Before last night’s game, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez provided updates on a number of the injured Nats, including Stephen Strasburg, who’s missed two starts in the first two weeks with a nerve impingement in his right wrist, though the cortisone shot he received seems to have had positive effects.
Strasburg is set to throw a bullpen today as he takes the next step in his work to get back on the mound in game action.
“He’s going to throw a bullpen tomorrow,” Martinez said on Tuesday afternoon.
“Actually, we’re going to get him to throw a [simulated game], he’s going to throw to some hitters, and then we’ll see how he does from there. But he threw the ball well.
“He’s been throwing the ball well. He feels good. He wants to see how he feels facing hitters tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.”
While they don’t necessarily need a fifth starter right now, coming off a four-day break, and with a day off again on Thursday, Martinez said Strasburg wants to get back to work.
“What is funny is he wants to get back out there,” Martinez explained.
“He says the longer time that he’s not out there and not facing hitters, the worse he thinks he’s going to be.
“So he wants to get going as quick as possible and get back out there as soon as possible, so for us that’s a good thing.”
And the Nationals, of course, want their 2009 No. 1 overall pick (and the 2019 World Series MVP) back as soon as possible.
“Having a Stephen Strasburg back out there on the mound and back in the rotation is awesome, but then again, we want to make sure that he’s 100%. We talked about this before,” Martinez said.
“We don’t want this to linger to something else, so we want to make sure that we’ve nipped this whole thing in the bud and when he’s back out there he’s back out there.”
WANDERING ABOUT SUERO?:
Wander Suero, 28, landed on the IL early in Spring Training 2.0, and returned to action late in the process of ramping up for the 60-game season, so the reliever is still building.
Suero came off the Injured List before last night’s series opener with the Mets, and Martinez said he’ll be worked back in slowly.
“He’s another guy, we got him back today, I’m going to have to plop him into situations maybe early in the game until we get him going,” Martinez told reporters.
“He’s only thrown like four innings since he’s been back, so we have to be awfully careful with him as well. But he threw yesterday to hitters.
“We had him out here, he threw the ball well. So, hopefully we don’t need him today, give him a day and he’s in there tomorrow. But if we need him today, he said he’s good to go.”
WILL HARRIS RETURN/STILL DOOING WORK:
Will Harris went on the 10-Day Injured List (retroactive to 7/29) with a strained right groin on the 31st of July, and he told Martinez that he’s feeling better and getting close to a return in the near future.
“He’s doing better,” Martinez told reporters.
“He tweaked his groin, but he says he feels better, so he’s another guy that we want to get him back, but when we get him back, we want to make sure that he’s completely healthy.”
Sean Doolittle, by all reports, is healthy, but he’s working on his mechanics, has had a drop in velocity early this season, and is trying to straighten things out as the season gets going in earnest. Where is he at now?
Martinez said they’re going to work him back into the bullpen mix and try to get him going.
“We’re going to put him in situations — like I said, for me, we want to get his velo back up there, but we’re going to use him. We talked to him yesterday and he’s a big part of our bullpen, he always has been, but we’ve got to build that confidence back up, and we’re going to get him out there when we can.”
That’s all for now, Game 2 of 2 with the Mets in Nationals Park at 6:05 PM ET...