Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Nationals fans and fans across the country.
Stephen Strasburg worked hard to get back on the mound after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome ended his 2021 campaign, but after one start back in the majors, he returned to the IL with a stress reaction in his ribs on June 14th, retroactive to June 11th, and he and the Washington Nationals are currently trying to figure out exactly what’s wrong with their 33-year-old starter before they decide how to move forward.
In 2021, it was carpal tunnel neuritis, and the surgery needed to alleviate the symptoms he was dealing with at the time. With those two seasons effectively lost, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick, who helped the Nationals win it all back in 2019, then signed a 7-year/$245M deal that winter, has made just eight starts in three years, with a 6.89 ERA and a 5.69 FIP in 31 1⁄3 IP in the last three seasons.
“We want to know what’s going on,” manager Davey Martinez explained earlier this week when asked for an update, “and like I’ve said, he’s going to have to go through some time where he needs to heal before we’re going to get him back on the mound. Until we know definitively what’s absolutely going on, we’re going to let him take his time. Like I said, he’s been through a lot. He worked really hard to get back. He pitched again in the big leagues and all of a sudden he got hurt again, so we want to make sure we know what’s going on before we push him back.”
Martinez and Co. have been cautious from the start, as he said when Strasburg landed on the IL again earlier this month.
“Let’s see what happens after this little stint here, and see if we can get him back. But like I said, man, we all hurt for him because he worked his butt off to get back and try to help us, and he went out there, and we were so excited that he was out there. It was something else to see him out there pitching again, so I just hope and pray that he can come back.”
If that didn’t catch your attention, that last part there, what he said next should have.
“Who knows when. Like I said, there’s no timetable,” Martinez said then, but he made the choice to remain positive, as always.
“For me, I’m going to be — as I always am — that he’s going to pitch again. And I hope that that’s the case.”
Where are you? Are you staying positive like Davey, hoping and praying we’ll see Strasburg on the mound in the majors again? We kind of are, though we’re naturally skeptical about everything in the world. We are not concerned with the financial implications for the club going forward, if he’s not able to return, or any of that talk. Right now we are just asking if you think we’ve seen the last of Strasburg in the majors?