The last update on Stephen Strasburg before Friday afternoon came on Wednesday night, when his manager, Davey Martinez, told reporters that the 32-year-old starter, who missed out on his 2020 debut with a nerve impingement in his right wrist, had thrown a quick sim game in the nation’s capital.
“He threw the ball today, threw the ball well,” Martinez said, “threw 32 pitches, and he threw the ball well. So we’re going to see how he feels tomorrow, and then we’ll go from there.”
Two days later, with Strasburg, apparently, having recovered well from the brief simulated outing, Martinez said that the 2019 World Series MVP was good to go against Baltimore in Sunday’s series finale with the Orioles in Nationals Park.
“I just talked to him and we’re going to put him in the rotation,” Martinez announced. “He’s going to pitch on Sunday.”
The decision, the skipper explained, was made after Strasburg came through Wednesday’s workouts without any issues.
“He just felt good. He’s been throwing. We got him ready for his start. So he’s on his regular routine right now, so he said he feels good, so Sunday will be his day,” Martinez explained.
The relatively low pitch count in his sim game, Martinez said, was deliberate after the issue in his wrist subsided following a cortisone shot and some rest.
“He went out there. He went out before [the sim game]— [and] he threw a bullpen, a heavy bullpen before he went out and faced hitters. He said he felt good, so we told him, ‘Hey, let’s not overdo it, because if you feel good, then your day will be Sunday.’ He felt fine. So, he came in yesterday — today I talked to him, he said, ‘I feel good, so let’s go for it.’”
Strasburg hasn’t started in a real game for some time now, after he was set up to go on July 25th, but that won’t limit him too much when he finally makes his 2020 debut.
“We’re going to watch him,” the manager said.
“If he gives us 75-80 pitches I think that would be awesome. But we’ll keep an eye on him.”
But the good news is the issue seems to have cleared up completely for Strasburg.
“The tingling in his thumb is gone, and that’s a good sign,” Martinez said. “We watched him, and like I said, he’s thrown some really good bullpens.
“That was the big thing for me. Nothing in his mechanics has changed. Everything is good, so based on conversations with him he feels good.
“He wants to pitch. He’s ready to pitch on Sunday.”