Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has been ruled out for tonight’s scheduled start against the Yankees, according to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic. Strasburg is dealing with a “nerve issue” in his right hand, with manager Dave Martinez telling reporters he’s received an injection as a result and is considered day-to-day. The Nationals will trot right-hander Erick Fedde out to the mound in Strasburg’s place.
Strasburg’s 2020 season debut will be put on hold momentarily. As of now, it doesn’t seem like he’ll require an injured list stint, and he told reporters that he’s not “extremely concerned” that the injury will keep him out for an extended period. Without a doubt, it could serve Strasburg and the Nats well not to push it this early in the season.
Per Todd Dybas of NBC Sports, the nerve impingement in Strasburg’s hand has been an ongoing issue in recent weeks. That said, Strasburg told reporters that he’s already feeling better after receiving a shot yesterday.
After his World Series heroics earned him prestigious World Series MVP award, Strasburg was rewarded with a seven-year, $245MM contract to keep him in D.C. for the foreseeable future. Last year, the 32-year-old authored arguably his best regular season yet, reaching the 30-start threshold for the first time since 2014. In 209 innings, he struck out 251 batters and notched a 3.32 ERA.
Fedde, meanwhile, will have his hands full as he makes his first start of the season. He’ll be opposed by James Paxton and the Yankees, who welcome DJ LeMahieu back to the lineup after a bout with COVID-19. Fedde worked as both a starter and a reliever for the Nationals last year, making 12 starts and 9 relief appearances. His 4.50 ERA was the best mark he’s posted in a season since debuting in 2017, but his strikeout rate declined precipitously, as he averaged just 4.7 K/9, compared to the 8.4 K/9 he tallied over the previous two seasons.