Stephen Strasburg’s return to the mound took another hit after the Washington Nationals reportedly closed pitching to physical activity for the foreseeable future, according to The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty.
Strasburg, 34, last pitched on June 9, 2022, when he allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Four days later, the Nationals placed Strasbourg on the injured reserve due to shoulder discomfort, and he has yet to see the mound since.
Injuries have plagued Strasburg’s career since winning the 2019 World Series MVP title and signing a seven-year, $245 million deal. He’s only made eight appearances on a mound since 2020 as he continued to suffer from nerve pain in his throwing arm for the past three seasons.
Strasbourg have started two games in 2020 after starting the COVID-shortened season on the injured list and underwent surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome in their throwing hand. He started two games in 2021 before landing on IL, then started three more games before undergoing season-ending surgery on July 27, 2021 to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. In 2022, Strasbourg started on IL again, started one game and finished on IL.
He missed spring training this year and was placed on the 60-day disabled list before Opening Day. While Strasbourg is eligible to return soon, sources have told Dougherty he hasn’t carried out any rehabilitation activity for more than a month due to “serious nerve damage”.
Strasbourg reportedly tried to increase his rehabilitation three times over the winter, but continued to experience discomfort on his right side. He has three years left on his contract, but the Nationals have not secured injury insurance for the Strasbourg contract, sources told Dougherty, because the premiums for such a policy would have been “extremely high” in because of the pitcher’s injury history. Strasbourg also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010.
The former 2009 No. 1 pick pitched 1,470 innings for the Nationals, going 113-62. Strasburg has a career ERA of 3.24, a WHIP of 1.096 and 1,723 strikeouts.