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Washington Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on IL with right shoulder inflammation

Continuing what’s been a frustrating year-plus for the 2019 World Series MVP, the Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the IL this morning.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Game 2 Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Stephen Strasburg was limited to just two starts and five innings of work in 2020’s 60-game campaign by carpal tunnel neuritis, which eventually required surgery, but he returned, and after a calf issue this spring, started the season seemingly healthy. His second outing wasn’t good, however, and his velocity dropped as he struggled on the mound in St. Louis during a four-inning outing in which he gave up eight hits, five walks, and eight runs (seven earned).

This morning, the Nationals placed the 32-year-old right-hander on the 10-Day Injured List (retroactive to April 15th) with what they described in a press release on the move as right shoulder inflammation.

Following the rough outing against the Cardinals, Strasburg, who was caught on camera in a tunnel off the visitor’s dugout in Busch Stadium massaging his right shoulder, denied that there were any health issues leading to his struggles when asked if he was okay physically.

“No, I mean, again, it’s a long season, it’s April,” Strasburg said. “We had kind of a very strange start to the season. So, I’m just going to continue to do what I do and take it one day at a time, whatever you guys want the narrative to be that’s your call. So, I’m going to go out there and give it everything I have every start.”

“We watched him,” manager Davey Martinez said when asked if he noticed any physical issues.

“His mechanics were a little off, but we talked to him, he didn’t complain about anything, you know, for us it’s part of the process.

“He hasn’t pitched in a year. We got to get him out there, we got to stretch him out, we’ve got to build him up.”

“He had a good outing his first outing, his trainers — never said anything to his trainers, we were there, were watching him, I just thought his mechanics, he was falling to the first base side.

“I thought his mechanics were a little bit off, but this is something for me and for him he’s got to work through, he’s got to get out there and he’s got to work through it.”

Now the right-hander is back on the IL, ahead of his scheduled start this afternoon in the series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Right-hander Paolo Espino has been selected from the Nationals’ Alternate Training Site in Fredericksburg, VA, presumably to start in Strasburg’s place, though no official word on a starter for today has been announced yet.

In addition to those moves, the Nationals also brought right-hander Ryne Harper back up and placed Wander Suero on the 10-Day IL with a left oblique strain after he left last night’s game with discomfort in his side and was sent for an MRI.