Stephen Strasburg To DL With Sore Elbow

Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 15 day DL today with a sore elbow15 day DL today with a sore elbow.  Strasburg was scheduled to start tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, but will be replaced by A.J. Cole, who was recalled from AAA.

The move came as a surprise to Nationals Columnist Thomas Boswell, but maybe not such a surprise to the gang at Fangraphs, who just posted a column regarding Strasburg’s recent struggles.

Over his last six outings, Strasburg has given up 26 runs in 30.2 innings pitched. Crunch the numbers and you’ll find that works out to a decidedly un-ace-like 7.63 ERA. These six outings have caused his season ERA to rise more than one full run, from 2.51 to 3.59. The good news is that there’s more than a little hope to be found in his peripheral stats. Over this awful stretch, his FIP is a massively more palatable 3.25, largely on the strength of a solid 29.1% strikeout rate and a roughly league-average 7.8% walk rate. It also likely won’t surprise you to learn that he’s posted an inflated .388 BABIP during this rough patch. Unfortunately, this is not to say Strasburg’s swoon has been entirely devoid of red flags.

In mid-June, Strasburg hit the disabled list with a back injury. Considering a back injury was the primary culprit in Strasburg’s first-half struggles last season, this latest DL stint was an unavoidably alarming development. Fortunately, he made a swift return to the mound. Any hopes that he’d escape the performance struggles which plagued him a year ago, however, have been derailed by his recent stretch. Whether those struggles are directly related to the injury is unknowable, but there are observable things about Strasburg which have changed since his return.

Strasburg was recently signed to a 7 year, 175 million dollar contract extension.  Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010.

h/t to Prof for the tip.

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6 thoughts on “Stephen Strasburg To DL With Sore Elbow

  1. One observable thing that hasn’t obviously changed for Strasburg was velocity; he was sitting at 95 and touching 97 during his last start in Colorado, so at present we have to believe the Nats here:

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    • Oh come now…

      What’s really happening here is that Mike Rizzo is testing the “should’ve managed his innings” theory from 2012, to see if giving Strasburg a couple DL stints during the regular season will ensure that he’s available for the postseason.

      Word on the street is that The Shutdown(tm) is the only thing that stopped the Nats from winning it all in 2012, and so now they’re in position to prove or disprove that theory once and for all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Its unfair to Stras to put the Nats’ inability to reach the Promised Land at his feet. Last time I checked, baseball is a team sport. If they have to ride Strasburg like a whipped horse all the way, they wouldn’t have won it anyway. God, that’s like Cubs fans blaming Bartman.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve always bristled at the idea that the Strasburg shutdown cost the Nats in 2012; he was hitting the wall when the shutdown came, with two poor starts sandwiched around a good one, and moreover Detwiler pitched and won a game in his stead in the NLDS that year, and the Nats were up 6-0 early in Game 5 before imploding.

          I’ll go to my grave saying the Nats did right by him and the franchise in 2012, even in the Nats never win a World Series.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I agree with you. I’m definitely not a Nats fan, but I have the whole Cubs-Kid K-Mark Prior fiasco in my life. It’s never at the feet at one player. Never. Now, can one person have a huge impact? Sure they can. But the Nationals were, and are, more than just Stephen Strasburg. If Stras is the ONLY reason why you can’t get over the hump, you’re doing it wrong. That’s really all I can say. I know you have to agree with me, because it’s foolish as hell to blame one person for an entire team’s demise.

          Liked by 1 person

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