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Strasburg shuts down bullpen after discomfort

The righty has been out of the playoffs with a strained flexor mass.

MLB: NLDS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Stephen Strasburg experienced some “discomfort” after throwing 30-31 pitches in a bullpen session, according to Jamal Collier of Strasburg was expected to throw a 35 pitch bullpen.

Strasburg has been on the DL since Sept. 7 with a strained flexor mass and was not expected to throw in the NLDS.

According to Collier, Baker said he is “not concerned” about the discomfort. Strasburg did throw on a flat ground today, though.

Strasburg already has a rich injury history that includes Tommy John surgery. He was limited to 127.1 innings in 2015 and 147.2 in 2016—a vast decline from 215 in 2014. A seven year, $175 million extension certainly can be risky and in the case of Strasburg, could prove to be a problem down the line depending on the severity of the injury.

There is still no timetable for Strasburg’s return, or if he will return for the postseason at all. Collier’s article says that the Nationals will not rush Strasburg back for the postseason. This move makes sense, especially since, as pointed out in Collier’s article, Strasburg just signed a hefty contract extension. Better to keep him healthy in the long run than to risk suffering major setbacks in the short term.