Stephen Strasburg will make a rehab start Wednesday afternoon for Class AA Harrisburg, his first game appearance since going on the disabled list two weeks ago with a strained left trapezius muscle.
Strasburg is slated to pitch in Harrisburg against Richmond at noon Wednesday, the Senators announced.
This rehab assignment comes after Strasburg threw 60 pitches to live hitters in a simulated game in Milwaukee on Friday, reporting no problems with his neck or upper back, which had been given him problems over the last month.
If Strasburg is able to build up to roughly 75 pitches in Harrisburg with no discomfort, the Nationals could deem him ready to return to their rotation after only one rehab start. The club won’t make that decision, though, until seeing how he responds to pitching at full velocity in a game situation, the only situations to date that have caused him discomfort.
[MORE NATIONALS Notes on Scherzer's career day, one of the best in Nats history]
After suffering an ankle sprain in spring training that forced him to alter his mechanics, Strasburg endured through an erratic April to begin his season. He then battled through the first prolonged struggle of his career in May, going 1-3 with a 10.13 ERA in five starts. In four of those outings, he failed to complete four innings, in part due to the neck/back discomfort.
Strasburg’s final start, May 29 in Cincinnati, lasted only one inning and 16 pitches, finally prompting the Nationals to place him on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as a strained left trapezius muscle. He has worked with pitching coach Steve McCatty since on improving his mechanics, most notably adjusting his landing spot as he throws pitches off the mound.