Just hours before Stephen Strasburg was set to face the Orioles in the series opener in Baltimore, the right-hander was instead placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness. A.J. Cole will start in his place Monday night after being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.

For Strasburg, this comes on the heels of the worst start of his career when he gave up nine earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings at the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. He has allowed 19 earned runs in his last three starts and has seen his season ERA balloon to 3.59 along the way.

Strasburg had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in 2010. This is the first time since he returned from the procedure in 2011 that he's had any trouble with his elbow.

Strasburg, 28, made his second All-Star team this season after begining the year with a perfect 13-0 record. He currently leads the league with 15 wins.

This is the second time this season that Strasburg has spent time on the disabled list. He missed 17 games with an upper back strain before returning on July 3. Strasburg was lights-out in his first three starts off the DL, but over his last six has a 7.63 ERA across 30 2/3 total innings.

Up until just recently, Strasburg had been the Nats' best starting pitcher this season. They even handed him a contract extension in May worth seven years and $175 million. This was, of course, years after their controversial decision to shut him down during the 2012 season to conserve his innings following his Tommy John surgery.


For Cole, this is his second stint with the MLB club this season. He was called up last week, but didn't pitch. He has just three major league appearances under his belt, all from last season.

A former fourth roud pick, Cole has a 4.26 ERA in 22 starts at Triple-A this season.

Strasburg's DL stint is retroactive to Aug. 21.

[RELATED: Nats' Espinosa has tough day, Gio trending in wrong direction]