The Nationals have activated righty Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list, per a club announcement. He’ll start for the organization tonight.
Strasburg had been sidelined with a cervical nerve impingement. This’ll be the second time that he has attempted to return; previously, he made it back only for one outing. He last pitched in the majors one month ago.
The hope had long been that Strasburg would provide a jolt as the Nats continued to chase down the division-leading Braves and Phillies. But the club has failed to gain ground as it expected, leading to the decision yesterday to trade away quality left-handed hitters Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams.
Of course, the returns of Strasburg and reliever Kelvin Herrera (activated yesterday) will still improve the D.C. roster. But the 7.5-game advantage held by Atlanta represents quite an obstacle, particularly with Murphy and Adams now suiting up for rival National League ballclubs.
Whatever happens in the standings, these next five weeks will afford Strasburg a chance to finish another injury-limited season on a high note. The 30-year-old has thrown 85 1/3 innings of 3.90 ERA ball this year, though he does carry typically strong K/BB numbers (101:21). Strasburg is under contract through 2023, at a total cost of $135MM over the next five seasons, but may elect to opt out after 2019 or 2020.