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There's good news and there's bad news in regards to Stephen Strasburg.
The good news is that, after some uncertainty, it appears Strasburg will make at least one more start before the season ends. The bad news, then, is it seems that start won't come on Thursday.
After originally being on track to start the Nationals' series opener against the Marlins Thursday, it came out on Wednesday that the right-hander would be pushed back after experiencing some trouble getting loose while playing catch on Wednesday. Strasburg is now projected to start Saturday's game instead.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he made the final call to push Strasburg back to Saturday.
"It’s just not worth the risk," Johnson told the Washington Post. "He wanted to go tomorrow and I said no. End of story."
It's not likely to be an issue during his start, and the Marlins are such a fantasy-friendly matchup that Strasburg could have rigor mortis in his right hand and he would still be a must-start on Saturday. And it actually may be a blessing in disguise for Strasburg owners, as being pushed back two days puts him in line to start against the Diamondbacks next weekend instead of facing the Cardinals earlier in the week.
Strasburg seemed more irritated than concerned on Wednesday.
"To be honest, I wish I could figure out what it is, what the reason is for it," Strasburg said. "I felt it just warming up today. I came in and literally just moved my hand around a little bit, just did like some squeezing exercises, and it went away. I went out and threw, felt great. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think it works better for the club to … give it a couple extra days, let Gio and Jordan go ahead and get it done and get after it on Saturday."
Click here for the latest MLB Player News on Strasburg and everyone else, and follow @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter for all the newest developments. Feel free to shoot any fantasy questions to @Nate_Grimm as we head down the home stretch as well.
The prognosis is less promising for Jean Segura.
The 23-year-old shortstop suffered a strained hamstring during Wednesday's game, leaving his season in question. Hamstring injuries rarely lend themselves to quick returns, and with the Brewers out of contention they have little reason to push one of their brightest stars to hurry back for the team's final 11 games.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he plans to play it by ear on Thursday.
"It's not bad, but saying that, we'll see how many days it's going to be," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told MLB.com. "If he walks in here [Thursday] and he hardly feels anything, then we have a chance to get him back out there."
If nothing else, the injury should serve to lessen Segura's effectiveness over the final 11 games. Segura has an NL-best 44 stolen bases this year and has legged out 10 triples. Fantasy owners should take a hard look at their other options at shortstop in case this is the end of Segura's season.
Billy the Kid
One guy who isn't having trouble running is Billy Hamilton.
The world has been awaiting the Reds' speedster since he stole 155 bases in the minor leagues in 2012. And heading into Wednesday's game he'd made his presence felt despite being limited to pinch-running and pinch-hitting appearances.
On Wednesday he showed what he could do with a full game's worth of opportunities. Hamilton responded to his first major league start by going 3-for-4 and reaching base five times, even driving in his first run. But the big story was what he did with his legs.
Hamilton stole four bases in the 13-inning affair, eventually scoring the game-winning run after drawing a walk, stealing second -- on a pitchout, no less -- and coming around on a Jay Bruce double. He's now got nine stolen bases in nine attempts this season.
He was able to get into the game because the Reds were playing in an American League park, allowing Ryan Ludwick to serve as the designated hitter and letting Shin-Soo Choo slide to left field. It's unclear how many more starts Hamilton will get down the stretch, but he needs to be owned in all leagues and should be in the lineup every time the Reds call his number from here out.
National League Quick Hits: Hanley Ramirez is expected to miss a second straight game on Thursday. The seemingly whimsical nature of his playing time down the stretch will force owners to be diligent in checking the Dodgers' lineup on a daily basis ... Jason Heyward (jaw) took live batting practice on Wednesday. He'll continue to take BP through the weekend in hopes of returning sometime next week ... Edinson Volquez (blister) is expected to start on Friday. He may have some extra motivation in the start going against his former team ... Carlos Gonzalez visited a hand specialist and will go forward with offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger. His season isn't over, but it is for fantasy purposes ... Michael Cuddyer left Wednesday's game with a bruised right forearm. He's day-to-day but may miss Thursday's afternoon tilt with the Cardinals ... Matt Adams left Wednesday's game with a right elbow injury. He'll likely miss at least Thursday's game, and it could potentially be a much longer absence ... Andre Ethier (ankle) could resume workouts on the field this weekend. He hasn't played since leaving last Friday's game with a sprained left ankle ... Ruben Tejada sustained a broken right fibula on Wednesday. His season is finished ... Denard Span's hitting streak has reached 29 games ... Sergio Romo and Mark Melancon blew saves on Wednesday, but neither's job appears to be in jeopardy this late in the year ... Marco Scutaro is dealing with two injured fingers on his left hand. He's still expected to return this season.
American League Quick Hits: Shane Victorino left Wednesday's game with a jammed left thumb. The Red Sox are calling him day-to-day ... Hisashi Iwakuma tossed eight scoreless innings in a win over the Tigers on Wednesday. He'll make just one more start this year before the Mariners shut him down ... Jacoby Ellsbury remains "very confident" he'll return to the Red Sox lineup before the season ends. Us? Less confident ... Justin Masterson (oblique) will throw a bullpen session on Friday. Even if he does return, it's hard to see him providing any meaningful contribution from here out ... Miguel Gonzalez (groin) will miss at least one start.
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- Stephen Strasburg
- Billy Hamilton