The Nationals have activated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the disabled list and placed fellow righty Joe Ross on the DL with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, Dan Kolko of MASN was among those to report (Twitter link).
[RELATED: Updated Nationals Depth Chart]
Strasburg, whose last action came June 15, will start for the Nats on Sunday. The 27-year-old hit the DL with an upper back strain on June 26, retroactive to June 16. Prior to that, the ace posted stellar numbers – 2.90 ERA, 11.4 K/9 and 4.92 K/BB rate – over 93 innings and began the season a perfect 10-0. Strasburg also inked a seven-year, $175MM contract extension in May, of course, so the first-place Nats can breathe a sigh of relief that one of their top players and most significant investments avoided a serious injury.
Unfortunately, the same might not be true in regards to the 23-year-old Ross, whose average sinker velocity fell nearly two miles per hour (from 93.5 to 91.8) in his start Saturday and dropped into the high 80s in his fifth and final frame. Notably, Ross’ brother – Padres ace Tyson Ross – has missed nearly the entire season with shoulder inflammation, and the Nats will now hope their Ross doesn’t suffer a similar fate. Before succumbing to injury, the second-year man tossed 95 1/3 innings of 3.49 ERA ball and added a 7.46 K/9, 2.25 BB/9 and 44.1 percent ground-ball rate. Even though Ross has emerged as a quality starter, his loss shouldn’t do much in the near term to hinder a Nats rotation that has Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, elite prospect Lucas Giolito and Gio Gonzalez in the fold.