12:43pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Strasburg has some inflammation in his elbow that he would pitch through were the team in the postseason (links to Twitter). However, considering their lead in the NL East, the Nationals are being proactive in getting him some rest before the postseason. Per Sherman, there’s no structural damage in Strasburg’s elbow.
12:31pm: Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a sore right elbow, the team announced this afternoon. Strasburg’s placement on the DL is retroactive to Sunday, and he’s been replaced on the active roster and in the rotation by right-hander A.J. Cole, who has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.
[Related: Updated Washington Nationals Depth Chart]
Strasburg, 28, was in the midst of one of his finest seasons before hitting a rough patch earlier this month. After allowing 19 runs in 11 2/3 innings over his past three starts, he’s seen his ERA balloon from 2.63 to 3.59. This will mark the second DL stint of the season for Strasburg, who missed a couple of weeks due to an upper back strain earlier this summer.
Speculation on the nature of the injury, of course, will be aggressive, but there’s no word of the severity, whether an MRI has been scheduled (or already performed), or when Strasburg could return to action. The Nats do have a sizable 8.5 game lead on the National League East, so it’s possible that they’re simply taking the opportunity to get one of their top arms some rest while leaving him enough time to ramp back up late in the season before a hopeful playoff push.
Strasburg was slated to hit the open market following the 2016 season but surprised many in the industry by opting to instead sign a seven-year, $175MM extension with the Nationals back in early May, forgoing a chance at entering the offseason as the name in free agency.