The Washington Nationals placed right-handed starter Stephen Strasburg on the injured list on Saturday due to a hand issue, the team announced. It's the second time Strasburg has had trouble with a nerve in his right hand this season, which is notable since the campaign is just three-weeks-old.
Strasburg exited Friday night's start vs. Baltimore in the first inning. He threw only seven of his 16 pitches for strikes.
"Based on our conversations with him, he feels like he can work through this injury," manager Dave Martinez told the Associated Press on Friday. "But I want to be smart, I really do. I've got to be smart, not just for right now but for the future. He's a big part of our future, a big part of what we do here. So we want to make sure we take care of him."
Friday was only Strasburg's second start of the season. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Orioles last Sunday. That game was suspended due to rain in the sixth inning and completed Friday afternoon. Had the Nationals not rallied to take the lead in Friday night's game, Strasburg could've suffered two losses on one day.
The Nationals came into Friday in fourth place in the NL East at 6-10. Joe Ross opted out of the season, Max Scherzer has been dealing with a nagging hamstring issue, and Anibal Sanchez has a 9.69 ERA. Losing Strasburg for any length of time could be a significant blow to a rotation that's already stretched thin.
Strasburg, 32, is in the first year of a seven-year, $245 million contract. He threw 209 innings with a 3.32 ERA last season and was marvelous in the postseason, pitching to a 1.98 ERA in 36 1/3 innings en route to being named World Series MVP.