Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his 2020 debut Sunday against the Orioles, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. Manager Dave Martinez indicated the Nationals are hopeful that Strasburg will give them 75 to 80 pitches in his first start of the season.
Strasburg has been on the shelf with a nerve issue in his right hand, which is certainly not the way he or the Nats expected him to begin the seven-year, $245MM contract they re-signed him to last offseason. Injuries have often been a problem for Strasburg, whose career began with great fanfare in 2010, but he stayed healthy in 2019 en route to a 209-inning campaign and a 3.32 ERA/3.25 FIP with 10.81 K/9 and 2.41 BB/9. He put the cherry on top with a marvelous playoff performance that concluded with a title for the team and a World Series MVP for himself.
This year’s Nationals have come out of the gates slowly at 4-5, but a few of the starters they’ve used – Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Austin Voth and Erick Fedde – have done well to prevent runs. Scherzer left his start Wednesday with a hamstring injury, but the three-time Cy Young winner is optimistic he’ll make his scheduled start, per Camerato.