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Washington Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the DL

The Nationals young righty is heading back to the disabled list just one start after returning. What ails Strasburg this time?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

More bad news for the Washington Nationals 30-year-old right-hander. Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his Thursday start and his heading back to the disabled list.

The silver lining? Early reports are that the injury is not to his shoulder or pitching arm, but a pinched nerve in his neck. Tommy Milone, the 31-year-old journeyman lefty, will be called up in his stead to start. It will be his first big league appearance since September 20, 2017 as a member of the New York Mets.

Strasburg is just returning from a DL stint that saw him sidelined for over a month with a strained oblique. He returned July 20 with what was reported as typical Strasburg velocity, but didn’t make it through five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. It’s been a down year for Strasburg all season by his standards, as he’s posted a 6-7 record with a 3.90 ERA, and 1.15 WHIP. His normal high strikeout numbers (10.7-per-nine) and low walk numbers (2.2-per-nine) are still strong, so there doesn’t seem to be too much concern pitch-wise.

The Nationals are now 50-51 and in third place in a tight National League East race. Rumors were that they were in the hunt for another starter (and J.T. Realmuto), so this may amp up the search on a more desperate level if the Nationals plan on contending for the final few months of the season.