World Series MVP Strasburg on IL with nerve issue in hand

by: HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press Posted: Aug 15, 2020 / 01:17 PM EDT / Updated: Aug 15, 2020 / 01:17 PM EDT Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg heads to the dugout after leaving the game during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Aug. […]

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg heads to the dugout after leaving the game during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON (AP) — World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg was put on the 10-day injured list by the Washington Nationals on Saturday because of the recurring nerve issue in his throwing hand that delayed his start to the 2020 season and cut short his second appearance after just 16 pitches.

The team classified his injury as “carpal tunnel neuritis of the right hand.”

The 32-year-old Strasburg, who signed a $245 million, seven-year contract with Washington this offseason, is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two starts this season.

After being scratched from the rotation his first couple of turns, Strasburg made his debut last Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, but left during a five-run fifth inning. He shook his right hand vigorously after one pitch and said after the game the problem was still something he was trying to work through.

He pitched again Friday night at Baltimore, but was removed after getting only two outs.

“His thumb just goes numb. There’s like tingling in there. And they said it’s from his wrist,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Friday. “I’m going to do everything I can to take care of him. I don’t want to see him out there shaking his hand in pain. I think the best thing right now is to kind of shut him down and see if we can get this straightened out.”

This is Strasburg’s first trip to the IL since 2018. He has been on the IL more than 10 times over the years — including twice each in 2015, ‘16, ’17 and ’18 — since being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft.

Last year, he made all 33 of his starts for Washington, leading the NL in innings and wins and going 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts.

Then he helped the Nationals win the franchise’s first championship by becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to finish a postseason with a 5-0 record, while posting a 1.98 ERA, 47 strikeouts and just four walks in 36 1/3 innings.

“He’s going to be here for a lot of years. He’s going to pitch a lot of innings. In order to do that, he’s got to be healthy,” Martinez said. “And I told him: ‘You did everything you can. It’s just a weird injury for you. So let’s just try to get it right.’”

To take Strasburg’s spot on the active roster, the Nationals recalled right-handed reliever Ryne Harper from the team’s alternate training site.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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