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Strasburg throws bullpen, says he does not have shoulder injury

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Strasburg throws bullpen, says he does not have shoulder injury

[Updated 2:53 p.m.]

Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session on Saturday afternoon and afterwards took his clubhouse media session as an opportunity to clear the air on what has been ailing him in recent days.

Contrary to some reports, Strasburg does not have a problem with his shoulder. It is instead his ankle, which caused him to overcompensate on his pitching mechanics and as a result his back tightened up. He hurt his left ankle late in spring training and was briefly sidelined before the Nats' opened their regular season schedule.

Strasburg felt fine after throwing on Saturday and believes he can return to the Nationals rotation early next week if all goes well on Sunday.

"I felt good. No problems. I actually threw for the first time without having my ankle taped up. It was more of a mental thing. I felt good, my ankle didn't feel bad and that helped my alignment be better," he said.

Strasburg plans to play catch on Sunday to test his ankle and back once again, but he thinks the back tightness has been alleviated after seeing a chiropractor.

"It was just night and day. I was happy with it. I thought that's what was going to happen and that's was what happened," he said of the appointment.

With his back tightness now cleared up, Strasburg wanted to set the record straight about his injury, that it had nothing to do with his shoulder.

"It's what caused my back tightness. It was never a shoulder issue. What caused my back tightness was I think an extension of a change in mechanics from my ankle. I just started throwing across my body a little more than I have done in the past," he said.

Strasburg has been working on his mechanics with pitching coach Steve McCatty, who initially noticed Strasburg was favoring his ankle while watching film of his recent outings.

"We were looking at a lot of video and he started to notice that. I was landing a little bit more too much from where I need to be. He kind of diagnosed that," he explained.

"It was something where I felt like I could pitch. My arm felt good, my velocity felt good. Then it got to the point where there was a little irritation in my back and I realized it. It was like a light bulb went on. It is such a small adjustment. It's something that you can't really see unless you slow it down and know what you're looking for. I knew what I was feeling. I didn't know what it was."

Strasburg was removed from his previous start on May 5 against the Marlins. He is 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in six outings this season.

 

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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