Stephen Strasburg reported to Nationals Park on Friday feeling strong, his right shoulder blade having responded to chiropractic treatment, but won’t know if he’ll be able to make his next scheduled start until he first throws off a bullpen mound with no problems.
Strasburg, who departed from his last start after only three innings due to discomfort, is scheduled to pitch Monday night in Arizona. In order to do that, he would need to throw a bullpen session Saturday. The Nationals could, however, push him back one day without needing a fill-in starter, with Max Scherzer simply starting Monday against the Diamondbacks on normal rest and Strasburg following on Tuesday.
Either way, Strasburg would need to throw off a mound before the end of the weekend to avoid missing a turn in the rotation.
“We don’t know exactly until he can get out there and throw his bullpen,” manager Matt Williams said. “So we’ll determine that. But for right now, it felt good reporting here. So it’s a good sign.”
Strasburg was treated by a chiropractor on Wednesday, then played catch on the field at Nationals Park following that day’s 7-5 win over the Marlins. He was scheduled to play catch again Friday.
“Doc said he was good in his exit from the office,” Williams said. “And as everybody knows and everybody saw, he was out there throwing. So all is well in that regard. We have to monitor him as he goes.”
The Nationals have no plans for Strasburg to get an MRI or other tests of shoulder, convinced the issue was strictly one of “alignment” and not any problem with the actual shoulder joint.
“It is what we told you,” Williams said. “It’s exactly what I told you. We look to the alignment. And it’s what Stephen said, too. He felt like it was a little clunky in there as he was extending. So that’s what it is. But like I said, he reported today feeling pretty good.”
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