The Nationals have reinstated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list and brought back first baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the 60-day DL, the team announced. To make room for those two, Washington optioned righties Wander Suero and Trevor Gott to Triple-A.
Strasburg’s back after missing upward of a month with shoulder inflammation, and his return will be a much-needed one for a Washington club with ground to make up in the NL East. The Nationals went just 48-48 before the All-Star break and currently sit five games out of a wild-card spot and 5.5 behind the division-leading Phillies. Part of the problem has been a lack of high-end starters behind ace Max Scherzer. Gio Gonzalez and Jeremy Hellickson have both pitched well, though they haven’t turned in front-line performances. Strasburg, 30, has done that throughout his career, and he managed a 3.46 ERA/3.58 FIP with 10.6 K/9 and 2.12 BB/9 in 80 2/3 innings before going on the DL.
Zimmerman has been out since May 12 because of a back injury, and he struggled prior to landing on the shelf. After reviving his career in 2017, the 33-year-old opened this season with a .217/.280/.409 line in 125 plate appearances. His DL placement opened the door for the addition of fellow veteran first baseman Mark Reynolds, whom the Nats selected from Triple-A Syracuse when they lost Zimmerman. The minor league signing of Reynolds has paid dividends for Washington, as he has slashed a splendid .291/.361/.573 with 10 home runs (and a 10-RBI game) over 133 PAs. It’s now unclear how the Nationals will divvy up playing time between Zimmerman and Reynolds, two righty-swingers.