SUNDAY: Strasburg and Kintzler (right forearm flexor strain) are now on the DL, the Nationals announced. To fill those two roster spots, the Nats recalled righties Wander Suero and Trevor Gott from Triple-A.
SATURDAY: The Nationals will place right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post was among those to report. There’s no timetable for Strasburg’s return, though manager Dave Martinez indicated that he doesn’t have any structural damage, per Dan Kolko of MASN.
The DL placement was expected for Strasburg after his shoulder forced him out of a start early on Friday, when he lasted only two innings against the Giants. Fortunately, though, it appears the Nationals have dodged a catastrophic injury in this case. Still, it’s yet another injury in a growing line for the 29-year-old Strasburg, who entered 2018 off three straight abbreviated seasons. As always, Strasburg has been terrific when healthy this season, making his forthcoming absence all the more difficult for a Washington team with a half-game lead over second-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Before he went on the shelf, Strasburg opened the season with a 3.46 ERA and 10.6 K/9 against 2.12 BB/9 over 80 2/3 innings. The Nationals likely won’t be able to replace that production, and they were already dealing with a hamstring injury to resurgent back-end starter Jeremy Hellickson. Now, the only sure bets in their rotation are superstar Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. Triple-A hurlers Erick Fedde and Austin Voth are also on the Nationals’ 40-man roster and could be candidates for promotion. Veteran Tommy Milone is on hand at the minors’ highest level, too, but the Nats would need to add him to their 40-man before giving him a shot in the majors.
Elsewhere on Washington’s staff, righty reliever Brandon Kintzler will go for an MRI after leaving his outing Saturday with forearm tightness – which is often a sign of a serious injury for a pitcher. The Nats will hope that’s not the case after re-signing Kintzler to a two-year, $10MM guarantee in the offseason. The 33-year-old has begun 2018 with a 4.45 ERA, 6.67 K/9, 3.81 BB/9 and a 44.7 percent grounder rate (down from a lifetime 56.7) in 28 1/3 innings.