Strasburg looks strong during bullpen session
A light rain fell on Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon, but Stephen Strasburg and a sizable entourage marched through it, out to right field, where he proceeded to throw a bullpen session. If Strasburg wasn’t on the disabled list with what is being officially referred to as “nerve impingement” in his throwing elbow, Saturday would have been his day to start. Instead, he threw what was scheduled to be a lengthy bullpen — a start substitute, in essence.
“He threw a bullpen today and came through it very well,” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and take it from there.”
When the Nationals placed Strasburg on the disabled list Thursday, Manager Dusty Baker insisted the Nationals expected him to miss just one start. He had pitched through what he described as “achiness” in his forearm for one seven-inning gem after the all-star break, then come out after 51 pitches in his next start, at which point the Nationals administered an ultrasound to his elbow to compare its status to previous procedures. Everything, they said, checked out.
Strasburg never stopped throwing, another sign the Nationals firmly believe his elbow is fine. Saturday’s was his most intense activity since his last start, and will therefore be telling. If he feels fine Sunday, the Nationals will probably move forward assuming he will miss one start.
Shawn Kelley, meanwhile, was scheduled to start for Class AAA Syracuse on Saturday. He will pitch one inning, his first rehab outing since being placed on the disabled list with a right trapezius strain June 18.
Trea Turner and Michael A. Taylor both fielded during batting practice. Turner, who has been out since June 30 with a broken wrist, took groundballs at shortstop but did not throw or hit. Taylor fielded flyballs at what looked to be close to full speed, but did not hit. Jayson Werth took full batting practice, something he has done repeatedly, but did not run. Until Werth’s left metatarsal is healed enough to run, he will not do more than hit and throw.
As for Koda Glover, who is in West Palm Beach rehabbing from right shoulder inflammation, Rizzo seemed surprised when asked if Glover would return this season.
“We feel optimistic we’ll see him again [this season],” said Rizzo, who said Glover is on a return-to-throwing program.”