Critics have long suggested that Washington Nationals right-handed ace Stephen Strasburg’s career will end up being short because of his herky-jerky delivery. Those critics have more ammunition now, as CSNWashington’s Mark Zuckerman is reporting that Strasburg is experiencing forearm tightness and could miss his next start.
Strasburg has had a number of arm issues since breaking into the big leagues in 2010, and he missed all of the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September of 2010. He returned in 2012 and threw 159.1 innings and was wildly successful. But, again, many still believed the success would be short-lived because of the incredible strain put on his right am during his delivery.
So far this season Strasburg is 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA and had lost four straight starts before getting a no-decision on Monday night. He had to be evaluated by a doctor after the game, which the Nationals lost 3-2.
During the start, Strasburg didn’t look comfortable on the mound and appeared to shake his arm from time to time after throwing pitches.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Strasburg “doesn’t look right to me.”
“His command was way off, so I knew something was off … He was shaking his elbow more frequently … I was really concerned. Any other time, I might have let him continue. Hopefully it’s no more than a tired arm or something.”
Strasburg has denied that he will miss his next start, but I’m willing to bet the Nationals won’t risk trotting him out to the mound unless they are convinced he is 100 percent healthy.
In 2012, Strasburg finally lived up to his billing. In 28 starts he posted a 15-6 record, with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He also had 197 strikeouts against just 48 walks in the aforementioned 159.1 innings.
With his incredibly taxing delivery something has to change if Strasburg plans on being in the majors for a long time.