The Nationals pitching staff has taken another hit, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (Twitter links). Reliever Hunter Strickland is having X-rays taken at PNC park after a bar struck him across the face. The injury stems from a weight room accident, but Strickland was up and about, playing catch ahead of tonight’s contest in Pittsburgh. It’s unclear whether he will be available out of the pen tonight. Strickland has been great since coming over to the Nats at the deadline, looking fully the part of the eighth-inning reliever they’ve longed for all season. He’s 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA/3.07 FIP and 5 holds in 8 contests. At best, Strickland’s mishap may lead to a second Washington pitcher taking the hill with more black-and-blue in the color scheme than usual. While we’re here, let’s check in on another couple of notes from Washington and beyond…
- Strickland’s travel buddy from Seattle, Roenis Elias, remains out after injuring himself running out a groundball in his first appearance as a National. He could be close to returning from the strained hamstring, however, as he plans to throw off a mound for the first time since the injury this upcoming Thursday, tweets MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman.
- Dougherty also provided an update on Joe Ross, who left last night’s blowout win after taking a Josh Bell one-hopper off the shin. His leg is wrapped, but Dave Martinez says the plan is for Ross to be ready to go for his next scheduled start on Saturday. Ross has pitched with newfound fervor since taking Max Scherzer’s spot in the rotation. Less four-seamers and a heavy reliance on his power sinker have at least been part of the story for the rejuvenated Ross. In four starts since the trade deadline, he’s thrown 21 1/3 innings with a hard-to-believe 0.42 ERA. Coming into August, Ross had a 9.85 ERA over 24 2/3 innings that spanned 18 games out of the bullpen and 1 start. If he’s healthy enough to go Saturday, the 5th spot in the Nats rotation appears his. If not, Erick Fedde will be ready to go.
- The Phillies transferred Jake Arrieta to the 60-day injured list today, the team announced. Arrieta was already known to be out for the year because of a bone spur in his elbow that requires surgery. This move is but the paperwork allowing Jerad Eickhoff to be reinstated and sent to Triple-A. Eickhoff should have the final ten days or so in August to fine tune with Lehigh Valley, as he would be expected to join the Phillies when rosters expand in September.
- Corey Kluber’s recent setback was due to abdominal tightness experience during a rehab start on Sunday, the Indians announced. The final diagnosis was an internal oblique strain. Kluber has been shut down to begin a rehab program with the hopes of being reevaluated and cleared to resume throwing in two weeks time. Obviously, that’s a very loose timetable, as Kluber’s return will depend entirely on his progress over this next fortnight.