Stephen Strasburg has struggled to remain healthy in 2015 and he will now be sidelined with another injury. The Nationals announced they placed Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain on Sunday and are hoping he can overcome discomfort he experienced on Saturday night.
Strasburg, 26, threw just 56 pitches in his Saturday start against the Giants and did not allow a run through 3.2 innings. He has posted a 5.16 ERA and 3.55 FIP over 61.0 innings and has made 13 starts for the National League East leading Nationals.
After having success and tossing 215.0 innings with Washington in 2014, Strasburg has had difficulty remaining healthy and throwing strikes this season. He was placed on the disabled list earlier this season to recover from a strained left trapezius muscle but has pitched well since returning. Strasburg has allowed just a pair of runs and struck out 18 over 15.2 innings since being activated and the Nationals might not need to replace him in the rotation given the timing of the injury.
If Strasburg is able to bounce back quickly, Washington can simply utilize a four-man rotation until the All-Star break. Manager Matt Williams has hinted at the possibility, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, and the decision might be made because of the Nationals' off day on Thursday. However, should Strasburg take longer to recover, Tanner Roark (4.33 ERA in 60.1 innings pitched) could take his spot in the rotation.
Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez have all had success and both Roark and Joe Ross give the Nationals starting pitching depth. As a result, acquiring a starter in a trade is unlikely.
Taylor Jordan, who has posted an 8.44 ERA and 2.99 FIP 10.2 innings with the Nationals earlier this season, was recalled in the corresponding roster move. He has pitched to a 2.97 ERA and 3.28 FIP in 63.2 innings with Triple-A Syracuse.