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Strasburg will make next start

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Strasburg will make next start

PHILADELPHIA -- Stephen Strasburg will make his next scheduled start Saturday in Atlanta, with the Nationals showing no concern about the state of their ace's right arm one day after he was pulled with what manager Davey Johnson termed tightness in his biceps.

Johnson said today he sought more of an explanation from Strasburg and pitching coach Steve McCatty and emerged with no reason to be concerned.

"I was trying to get to the bottom of it, but it's just not worth proceeding," the manager said before tonight's game against the Phillies. "He's going to make his next start, that's all I know."

Strasburg threw 90 pitches over five innings Sunday against the Orioles, retiring the last 10 batters he faced (seven via strikeout). Afterward, Johnson revealed the 23-year-old noted some arm discomfort, and when the manager ran through different potential problem areas, Strasburg told him it was in his biceps.

After the game, though, Strasburg denied there being any issue with his biceps, insisting what he felt was merely general fatigue he believes was a product of having worked too hard in between starts.

"It sounds like maybe we didn't get our stories straight," Johnson said. "I talked to him when we were shaking hands out there, I said I'm just going to tell them there's a little tightness in the bicep and it flared up after the first inning and then again after the fifth you were trying to keep it loose. Fine. And then I read the paper today and we're speaking a different language to each other. But that's Stras. Everything's magnified. But he's fine."

Strasburg, who also hit his first career home run during the fourth inning, improved to 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA and an 88-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 combined starts since he returned from Tommy John surgery last fall.

The Nationals have taken extra precautions with the right-hander, as they did last season when teammate Jordan Zimmermann returned from the same elbow ligament replacement surgery, and plan to shut him down sometime before the end of the regular season.

Johnson said Strasburg told him Sunday he didn't want the manager to think he was "not a man or something" for noting the arm discomfort. Johnson assured Strasburg he wasn't treating him with kid gloves.

"No, I do that with anybody," Johnson said. "Anybody in our rotation. Anybody coming out of the pen. If they have anything that was bothering them, they're out. End of conversation."

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT