Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on Injured List due to shoulder inflammation

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Kevin Brown
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Nats place Strasburg on IL due to shoulder inflammation originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Nationals placed starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day Injured List on Sunday. 

The Nats ace is currently dealing with right shoulder inflammation. Manager Davey Martinez reportedly said there is no timetable for Strasburg's return. 

After pitching just five innings in the 2020 season, Strasburg is yet again having to recover from an injury. Strasburg dealt with nerve issues in his pitching hand last season before making a full recovery to throw six scoreless innings in his season debut against the Braves. But in his second start, Strasburg couldn't muster up as much heat on his pitches, giving up seven earned runs in the Nats' 14-3 loss to the Cardinals and was seen grabbing his shoulder in the tunnel. 

"Let's not forget Stras missed almost the whole season last year," general manager Mike Rizzo said on the Sports Junkies on Wednesday. "These guys are building up arm strength, building up stamina and building up endurance to get through this grind. Sometimes when you miss a full entire season, it takes a little bit longer to get to those points."

Strasburg vented his frustration to media after the loss to the Braves about the camera capturing massaging the affected shoulder and pointed to execution, not injury as the issue. 

“Mechanics were a little off [but] we talked to him, he didn’t complain about anything,” Davey Martinez told reporters after that game. “For us, it’s part of the process. He hasn’t pitched in a year. We gotta get him out there, gotta stretch him out, gotta build him up. But he was just a tad off today. His last outing was good, today wasn’t as sharp. So he’ll have four or five days to work with [pitching coach Jim] Hickey and get him back on track.”

Paolo Espino will replace Strasburg in Washington's Sunday game against Arizona. Espino, 34, will make his second start for the Nationals (first since Sept. 22 vs. Philadelphia) and fourth overall start in his career. Strasburg, whose IL placement is retroactive to April 15, is 0-1 in two starts with a 6.30 ERA so far this season.