Stephen Strasburg's return to the mound took another hit after the Washington Nationals reportedly shut down the pitcher from 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 Strasburg on the injury list due to shoulder discomfort, and he has yet to see the mound since.
Injuries have plagued Strasburg's career ever since he won the 2019 World Series MVP and signed a seven-year, $245 million contract. He has made only eight mound appearances since 2020, as he continued to suffer from nerve pain in his throwing arm the past three seasons.
Strasburg started two games in 2020 after he began the COVID-shortened season on the injured list and underwent surgery to address carpal tunnel syndrome in his throwing hand. He started two games in 2021 before he landed on the IL, then started three more games before he underwent season-ending surgery on July 27, 2021, to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. In 2022, Strasburg once again started on the IL, started one game and finished on the IL.
He missed spring training this year and was placed on the 60-day injured list ahead of Opening Day. While Strasburg is eligible to return soon, sources told Dougherty that he hasn't performed any rehabilitation activities for more than a month due to “severe nerve damage.”
Strasburg reportedly attempted to increase his rehab three different times over the winter but continued to feel discomfort on his right side. He has three years left on his contract, but the Nationals did not get injury insurance for Strasburg's deal, sources told Dougherty, because the premiums for such a policy would've been "extremely high" due to the pitcher's injury history. Strasburg also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010.
The former No. 1 pick in 2009 has pitched 1,470 innings for the Nationals, with a 113-62 record. Strasburg has a career ERA of 3.24, a 1.096 WHIP and 1,723 strikeouts.