Nats place Strasburg on IL with neck strain, recall McGowin

Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 10-Day Injured List with a neck strain Wednesday, one day after he exited a game against the Atlanta Braves with a sore trapezius muscle. Right-handed pitcher Kyle McGowin was added to the roster in a corresponding move.

Strasburg threw 30 pitches and received two visits from trainers Tuesday before leaving the contest in the second inning. His fastball velocity was hovering in the uncharacteristic 89-90 mph range while he was seen shaking his arm after several of the first pitches he threw. Strasburg was struck by a comebacker just before he walked off the field as well.

“Every time you walk off the mound after one inning, we have some concern. We've got to get this thing right,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Wednesday morning on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies. “We have to figure out what's going on there and get him right.

“I'm going to go 7.5 [out of 10] on the concern level.”

Tuesday’s start was just Strasburg’s third appearance since being activated from a previous IL stint forced by inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He’s made five starts on the year, posting a 4.57 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 14 walks in 21 2/3 innings.

Manager Davey Martinez said in his pregame press conference Wednesday that the Nationals are still determining who will fill in for Strasburg for his next turn in the rotation Sunday. Washington is already starting Jon Lester on three days’ rest Wednesday after Erick Fedde was unable to ramp his arm back up in time to return from the COVID IL.