Results tagged ‘ injury ’

[Updated] Strasburg scratched again

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

WASHINGTON — After Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Braves, Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced that Stephen Strasburg would miss his scheduled start Thursday against the Marlins. Gio Gonzalez will start Thursday, Jordan Zimmermann will start Friday and Strasburg will return Saturday, barring any further setbacks.

Strasburg was unexpectedly scratched from his previous start on Friday with right forearm tightness, which might have occurred when the right-hander was experimenting with a new pitch last Thursday in New York. The right-hander rested for two days, threw a “great” bullpen session on Monday and said Tuesday that he was prepared to start Thursday’s series-opener as planned.

However, Strasburg had trouble getting loose Wednesday afternoon and still felt some tightness.

“He felt a little something there [in the forearm] but he wanted to pitch,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Well, no way. I got guys on full rest. I’ll pitch them and you can be in the lineup for Saturday.’ So it’s my decision.”

Strasburg described the feeling as a “strong cramp” that bothered him when he was warming up Wednesday afternoon. He felt the tightness and took a break, moving his hand and squeezing it a bit. Then the feeling dissipated and he returned to the field and felt fine.

“I don’t really know why it’s happening,” Strasburg said. “When it happens, it happens. It’s like a strong cramp, so I just think I would put us in a bind if I went out there and felt it. We’d definitely be down some pitchers.”

Johnson said last week that Strasburg’s injury is not related to the surgically-repaired ligament in the right-hander’s elbow. Strasburg was examined by team doctor Wiemi Douoguih, who assured him that the arm is structurally sound.

“I wouldn’t say I’m too concerned because when I get nice and loose it feels 100 percent. The tough thing is getting loose,” Strasburg said. “I think it’s just part of it being September and that’s pretty much it.”

Johnson said that Strasburg wanted to pitch Thursday, but the skipper ultimately decided to hold him back as a precaution.

“It’s just not worth the risks,” Johnson said. “He wanted to go tomorrow, I said no.”

Strasburg scratched with right forearm tightness

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

WASHINGTON — Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg was a surprise scratch from his scheduled start Friday night because of tightness in his right forearm.

Manager Davey Johnson said that Strasburg originally felt the soreness before Thursday’s game against the Mets, when the right-hander was experimenting with a new pitch. Strasburg will rest for two days and take some medication, but he is expected to make his next start on Sept. 19 against the Marlins.

Johnson said the tightness is in the soft tissue of Strasburg’s arm, not the surgically-repaired ligament in his elbow.

“All of the doctors think it’s a non-issue,” Johnson said. “We’ll give him some rest. There might have been some inflammation in there or something from some new muscles being used on this new pitch. Who knows?”

Strasburg was examined by doctors in New York on Thursday and team doctor Wiemi Douoguih on Friday. Johnson said Strasburg had some tests, but the skipper did not think that the right-hander had an MRI.

Strasburg was not available for comment before Friday’s game. Johnson would not reveal the new pitch that the right-hander was working on. The Nationals’ manager did, however, admit that the news was initially worrisome.

“Yeah, I was concerned,” Johnson said. “Any time a pitcher tells you he can’t throw tomorrow, doesn’t want to play catch [is concerning]. He came in here and got treatment, the doctor in New York examined him and didn’t think it was anything serious. Probably just tight. So here we are. He’s not pitching. He’ll pitch the 19th.”

Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who has made sporadic starts for the Nationals this season, was slotted to start Friday in Strasburg’s place. Johnson said that Ohlendorf had been preparing as if he would start Thursday, so he effectively received an extra day of rest.

Strasburg, meanwhile, has made 28 starts this season, the same amount he made in 2012 before the Nationals elected to shut him down for precautionary reasons. In 2012, Strasburg went 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA over 159 1/3 innings. Though he is just 7-9 this season, he sports a 2.96 ERA over 170 innings of work.

While Strasburg’s shut down last year was carefully planned months in advance, his forearm tightness and missed start Friday were completely unexpected.

“Right out of the blue,” Johnson said. “But Stephen’s a perfectionist. He likes everything just perfect. So any time you’ve had an arm injury, any little discomfort and the alarm bells are going to go off.”

Ramos’ hamstring strain not as bad as feared

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

WASHINGTON — After injuring his left hamstring for the third time this season on Tuesday night, Wilson Ramos was all smiles in the Nationals’ clubhouse on Wednesday. The strain was not as serious as the team feared, and Ramos said that he will only miss one or two games before returning to the lineup.

“[I’m] a little bit happy because it’s not too hurt,” Ramos said. “I felt a little bit yesterday sore in my hamstring but it’s not in the big part of the hamstring. It’s down in the hamstring, a little bit behind the knee.”

Ramos said that he felt the muscle tighten as soon as he left the batter’s box after hitting a ground ball in the fourth inning, but he knew right away that the strain wasn’t as bad as his previous tweaks. The 26-year-old said last month that he would not run full-speed on routine grounders, but when the ball deflected off pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s mitt, Ramos thought he could beat the throw to first.

“Next time for me, easy out,” Ramos said. “I’m not going to try to do too much, not anymore.”

Manager Davey Johnson said that is easier said than done.

“That’s easy to say, but as soon as you hits one where he thinks he’s got an infield hit, he’s going to go hard. That’s just human nature,” Johnson said. “I think it’s that first move coming out [of the batter’s box] that you’ve got to be careful with. Because you twist and then you’re jumping back.”

Ramos exited Tuesday’s game after the fourth inning, when the game was delayed for more than a hour because of rain. Had it not started raining, Ramos said that he likely would have tried to stay in the game.

“Thank God it was raining,” he said. “He took me out of the game.”

Ramos was left out of Wednesday’s lineup but could return on Thursday or Friday, when the team opens a three-game series in Atlanta. Johnson said that he wanted to see Ramos go through his normal pre-game routines before determining how many games the catcher would miss.

Despite Johnson’s concerns, Ramos said that he hopes to resume starting every day when he returns to the lineup. He said that the regularity has helped him get in a rhythm, both at the plate and behind it.

“I feel comfortable when I play every day,” Ramos said. “I feel strong, more consistent behind the plate or hitting. I saw the difference in this month. I threw a couple runners out. My arm feels good. I feel good behind the plate, calling games. I’m hitting well. I can see the difference when I play every day than every other day. That’s good for me. And hopefully I’ll be ready in two or three more days and then go keep playing like that.”

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