The Nationals have activated Aníbal Sánchez from the 60-day injured list, setting him up to start tonight’s game against the Braves. Reliever Mason Thompson was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to free an active roster spot. To create a 40-man roster vacancy, Washington transferred Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day to the 60-day IL.
Sánchez will return to a big league mound for the first time since 2020. The 38-year-old righty sat out all of last season after not finding a contract offer to his liking on the heels of a 6.62 ERA showing during the shortened campaign. He made a comeback effort last offseason, returning to the Nats on a minor league deal. Sánchez made the club out of Spring Training, locking in a $2MM salary in the process, but he suffered a cervical neck impingement just before his first scheduled start.
That ultimately cost him three months of action, but the veteran is set to appear in the big leagues for a 16th year. He’s made three rehab starts with Rochester in recent weeks, topping out at 5 1/3 frames, so he should be capable of working into the middle innings. Sánchez joins a Washington rotation that has by far the league’s worst ERA (5.73) on the season.
Strasburg has contributed just one start to that group. He opened the year on the IL as he continued his rehab from last summer’s thoracic outlet syndrome procedure. The three-time All-Star returned in June, tossing 4 2/3 innings against the Marlins. He felt renewed discomfort in his rib area during a between-starts bullpen session, however, and he was again shut down.
Washington manager Dave Martinez suggested at the time he’d head for further evaluation and the club was concerned he’d had a recurrence of the TOS issues. The club hasn’t provided an update since that point, but he’s now gone over a month without reports of meaningful progress. Today’s IL transfer will officially rule him out for 60 days from his initial placement on June 11. He’ll technically be eligible to return around three weeks from now, but it seems likely he’ll be out well beyond that date given the lack of word on his status.
In another disappointing injury development, Martinez said today that rehabbing reliever Sean Doolittle will meet with doctors after experiencing elbow soreness during a recent bullpen session (via Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post). The veteran southpaw has been out since mid-April with an elbow sprain. He’s already on the 60-day IL. Doolittle, who signed a $1.5MM guarantee during Spring Training, made six scoreless appearances before the injury.
Starsburg contract getting better by the minute
Might as well just leave him on the IL until his contract expires because that’s what’s gonna happen any way.
Strasburg is such a dog. Hurt every year, then healthy during his 2019 contract year, nows hes back to himself. Same old same old. The owners should make a rule that says a player’s contract gets dictated by the amount of games played depending on wether they are a starter, reliever, or hitter
This is exactly what I see happening with Aaron Judge. He’s playing for his next contract this year – having a monster season. Someone will back up the Brinks truck this winter, and next year he’ll go back to his old self – 3 or 4 trips to the IL every year of that contract.
Aaron Judge will have 3 spectacular seasons, 3 good seasons, and 3 declining seasons on a long-term contract
Yanks2, if he does that, he’ll have earned his contract.
“The owners should make a rule…”
There’s a reason the CBA exists- so owners can’t do whatever they want to the detriment of the players. No one forced the Nationals to sign Strasbourg to his contract.
There is nothing to protect the owners when they agree to pay for a player’s services. I am thinking the only way is to go with incentive contracts, based on the contract season where the player actually gave 100% during the season.. The owners take all the risks. The Strasburgs take all the money. If the players play above and beyond the incentives, they get additional money. That would be incentive enough to play.
I think the Nats would have paid to insure Strasburg’s contract. It’s not something teams make public, but when there is that large amount of money involved- a business needs to protect itself.
He’s still pitching!!!!
31.1 innings since he signed the contract. Worst contract in baseball.
I never understood why the nationals went with Strasburg instead of rendon. Granted rendon has been hurt a lot with the angels but who knows if it would have been the same with the nationals.
Actually, they should have given that money to Bryce Harper. I know he became a free agent after 2018 but still. When I heard about that contract, I knew it would be a dud. i could understand three or four years but seven! Come on. Now Mike Rizzo has been extended. He only makes mistake after mistake but still stays employed. Kind of like the guy with the Mets who hires guys who have sexually harassed women. Guess they can’t get rid of him because he served in the Corps.
Interesting how the Bryce Harper/Nats history is being rewritten. The Nats wanted to re-sign Bryce, but announced that they couldn’t/wouldn’t wait until late in the off-season while he played one team off against another.
They wanted to spend their money early while the best players were still available. After negotiations with Harper broke off, Nats bought into Patrick Corbin in November/December and he helped them win the WS.
There was no question that Bryce wanted to re-sign with the Nats. However, he and Scott Boras misjudged the market and the Nat’s intentions.
Bryce stayed on the market until March, took a deal with the Phillies that was less than the Nats might have given him the prior November. Boras and Harper acted as if the Nats would still bid despite the team’s stated intentions and actions..
Strasberg is a lot like Darren Dreifort for the dodgers has great upside but can’t stay healthy. Only seems stay healthy in a contract year
Prior never made it for the huge payday. No comparison
Strasburg’s contract will inevitably be grouped with the likes of Chris Davis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Prince Fielder, and Jason Heyward. Albeit out of all of these players, Strasburg has outperformed all of them. Strasburg is not Hall of Fame-w9rthy; he is Hall of Very Good-worthy, however, the contract the Nats signed him to made no sense. He’s always been injury-prone.
Could’ve re-signed Harper to a mega deal but they chose to sign Corbin and Strasburg, two has-beens more or less.
IMO Stras’s is and was much worse. Stras’s injury issues were known beforehand, and the Nats way overpaid him after his first healthy year in a long time. Some of those other contracts at least made some sense when they were signed, and even Pujols helped LAA get a new TV deal. But hey, at least Stras has some bad contract competition close to home in Corbin. I understand he did a good job in 2019, but otherwise, what has Rizzo done to keep his job?
A World Series the year after Bryce Harper left is an accomplishment within itself but also pretty funny since Bryce was the best player on that team and they wound up winning a title without their best player.
It could be argued that Soto was better than Harper even in 2019.
Even a broken clock shows the correct time twice a day. Don’t forget Patrick Corbin’s first year was 2019. He did very well that year but has sucked ever since.
Sad how things ended for Strasburg and Harvey. I remember the who’s better debate in Harvey’s electric 2013.
If Anibal keeps throwing 94mph he’ll fetch the Nats a nice prospect at the trade deadline
Strasburg made it 4 2/3 innings? That’s 3 2/3 longer than I thought he would to cash his huge paychecks. How much does he make an inning now?
If he doesn’t pitch anymore this season it would equate to 10 million/ inning on a 35 mil a year contract roughly anyway