Stephen Strasburg, starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals, left his most recent start after only two innings of work due to arm stiffness. We have heard this script before, right Nats fans? The injury bug continues to bite hard to the 2017 Nationals campaign, and once again makes their championship prospects look hazy moving forward.
Other noteworthy Nats who recently went down to injury are: Trea Turner (broken wrist, date of return TBD), Jayson Werth (fractured first metatarsal in left foot, moved to 60-day DL on 7/23), Michael Taylor (right oblique strain, 10-day DL), Joe Ross (Tommy John surgery, out for season), and to begin the season, Adam Eaton (torn right ACL, out for season). Catch any names there you may have heard of? The prospects of Nats skipper, Dusty Baker, tinkering with the lineup card are getting more complicated by the day.
Although the injury news on Strasburg looks more promising than say, Jayson Werth and Trea Turner, the Nationals have a lot of work to do to ensure their squad is ready and healthy when the games matter most. Strasburg has since been moved to the 10-day DL, while the Nats have called up their top pitching prospect in Erick Fedde. The fact that injuries have plagued this squad so much recently, leaves fans of the team scratching their heads wondering what can be done in order to preserve the rest of their core from injuries.
This squad has been built on solid starting pitching from notable aces in: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez. If you lose one of those three marquee names for any amount of time, you are going to feel a ripple effect across the rest of the squad.
On offense, luckily, Dusty Baker has many potent options at his disposal such as: Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, and recently the improved play of first baseman Adam Lind has truly helped this team do more than just scrape by in recent contests. In fact, their offense as of late has made many fans forget about their recent bullpen woes that plagued many of their mid-season losses.
For now, the Nationals and their training staff should do everything in their power to ensure that this core stays healthy. Injuries are unpredictable, but having solid plan-B options at nearly every position is a big reason why this 2017 Nationals squad isn’t going to give up their massive National League East lead anytime soon.