It was a rough day of injury news across the majors. The biggest story is probably Stephen Strasburg’s shoulder injury, which drove him from his start Tuesday night against the Marlins after just three innings. Strasburg looked off out of the gate versus Miami, yielding a single and a walk in the top of the first inning and then two runs in the second inning as the host Nationals went on to lose 2-1.
It was similar to what we’ve seen for much of the season from the 26-year-old right-hander, who stands 2-3 with an underwhelming 4.73 ERA and 1.61 WHIP through 32 1/3 innings. Nationals manager Matt Williams acknowledged to reporters late Tuesday that Strasburg has been bothered by discomfort underneath his right shoulder blade and will visit a chiropractor on Wednesday with the hope that a realignment will solve the lingering problem. It’s considered more of a back issue than an arm issue. At least, that’s what the Nats are telling the media.
“I think it’s something where I just need to get an adjustment, or something like that,” Strasburg told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com in the clubhouse Tuesday night. “The best way I can put it: You’re driving a car fast over speed bumps. The irritation kind of rattles the cage a little bit.”
If the injury does wind up requiring a disabled list stint, 28-year-old right-hander Tanner Roark figures to draw a spot start or two. He posted a 2.85 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 138/39 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings (31 starts) last season for the Nationals but got bumped to the bullpen this year following the free agent signing of Max Scherzer.
The consensus preseason favorite for the National League East title, Washington is off to a disappointing 13-15 start.
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Mesoraco Might Need Hip Surgery
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco hasn’t started a game since April 11 due to a left hip impingement, yet Cincinnati management has opted against placing him on the disabled list because he is able to pinch hit and they like having him around as a bench bat. It’s a frustrating situation for fantasy owners, who have basically been playing a man short for the last four weeks. And it doesn’t sound like this thing is trending in a positive direction …
Mesoraco acknowledged to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday evening that he still hasn’t been able to squat and might need surgery to get over the injury -- surgery that would require a rehab period of four months. “We're doing everything we can to stop that from happening,” said the 26-year-old backstop. “We've done PRP (platelet-rich plasma injections). We did cortisone. We did lubricating injections. We're trying to do the best we can to go out and finish the season."
Mesoraco should draw some starts at DH this weekend when the Reds travel to the south side of Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox. If his hip isn’t feeling any better after that, it may be time to go under the knife. And the surgery could very well be season-ending for Mesoraco, who showed so much promise in 2014 when he registered an .893 OPS, 25 home runs, and 80 RBI in 114 games.
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Another Disabled List Stint For Morrow
Brandon Morrow looked like one of the best bargains of the offseason through his first five starts with the Padres, boasting a 2.73 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 23/7 K/BB ratio in 33 innings. But the $2.5 million right-hander had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with inflammation in his throwing shoulder and there’s not a clear picture for when he might be ready to return.
Morrow has spent time on the disabled list in each of the last five seasons, but his shoulder hasn’t been an issue since 2010. It’s been forearm, oblique, neck, back, and wrist issues that have given him the most trouble lately. Maybe that’s reason for optimism. But it’s not worth speculating without any concrete knowledge. Expect a status update on the 30-year-old starter by the end of the week.
Odrisamer Despaigne will probably move back into the rotation. He had been shifted to the bullpen on April 23.
National League Quick Hits: Braves right-hander Shelby Miller needed only 99 pitches to wrap up a three-hit shutout against the Phillies on Tuesday night … ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Brewers are not willing to trade Jonathan Lucroy … Todd Frazier hit his National League-leading ninth home run on Tuesday as the Reds earned a win over the Pirates … Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich (back) is expected to return from the disabled list on Friday … Joe Wieland has been confirmed as the Dodgers' starter for Wednesday's game against the Brewers … Mets closer Jeurys Familia earned his 11th save of the season Tuesday against the Orioles despite allowing a solo home run … Marlins starter Mat Latos yielded only one run in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season Tuesday against the Nationals … David Wright (hamstring) is expected to begin running the bases by Thursday and could embark on a minor league rehab assignment over the weekend … Justin Turner finished 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in the Dodgers’ victory over the Brewers on Tuesday … Cardinals setup man Jordan Walden is seeking a second opinion for his right biceps inflammation … Angel Pagan was a late scratch Tuesday with a laceration on his left middle finger … Ryan Vogelsong delivered seven scoreless innings to earn a win versus the Padres on Tuesday night … Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is day-to-day with a bruised right index finger … Chase Utley, who’s batting just .103/.182/.207, will likely be rested until Friday … Marco Gonzales (pectoral) is scheduled to return to the Triple-A Memphis rotation on Saturday and could join the Cardinals soon after … Zack Greinke struck out seven while allowing only an unearned run over 7 2/3 innings in Tuesday's win over the Brewers … Padres catcher Austin Hedges will make his first major league start in Wednesday's game against the Giants … Bartolo Colon pitched into the eighth inning Tuesday against the Orioles to earn his fifth win of the season … Kolten Wong delivered another multi-hit game Tuesday, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in a win over the Cubs.
American League Quick Hits: Rays starter Alex Cobb has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and could need Tommy John surgery … George Springer crashed into the wall making a catch on Tuesday and is being evaluated for a concussion … Royals closer Greg Holland (pectoral) will be activated from the disabled list Wednesday … Mookie Betts slugged two solo home runs Tuesday to help the Red Sox top the Rays … Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias remains day-to-day with tightness in his left groin … Michael Pineda was dominant in a win against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, tossing eight shutout innings … An MRI came up clean on Hanley Ramirez's shoulder, but there is no timetable for his return to Boston’s starting lineup … Matt Wieters (elbow) caught six innings Tuesday in an extended spring training game … Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in Tuesday’s defeat of the Indians … Steve Pearce is day-to-day with a stomach virus … Russell Martin doubled twice and hit a solo home run Tuesday in the Blue Jays’ loss to the Red Sox … Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday after tweaking his wrist on Monday night … Michael Saunders had fluid drained from his surgically-repaired knee on Monday and will likely be out until Friday … Yankees closer Andrew Miller tallied his 11th save of the season on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays … Yan Gomes (knee) made throws from home to second base from a crouch on Tuesday afternoon … Tigers starter Shane Greene was pounded for five runs over just 2 2/3 innings Tuesday in a loss to the White Sox … A’s outfielder Billy Burns went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base in Tuesday’s defeat of the A’s … White Sox reliever Matt Albers underwent surgery for a fracture in his right pinkie and will be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks … Rick Porcello went seven scoreless innings Tuesday in a win over the Rays … Kyle Blanks went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored Tuesday in the Rangers’ victory over the Astros … Angels catcher Carlos Perez slugged a walkoff home run against the Mariners in his major league debut Tuesday night in Anaheim.