- Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo meets the press to discuss the results of Stephen Strasburg's MRI prior to Monday night's game against the Chicago Cubs (Photo: TBD Staff)
Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg will make his second trip the the disabled list this season and undergo a second MRI after leaving his start against Philadelphia Saturday with an strained flexor tendon in his right forearm.
Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that Strasburg would return to the disabled list prior to tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park.
In addition, Rizzo revealed that Strasburg would undergo a second MRI "within the next 72 hours," with results being available a further 24 hours after that. Strasburg underwent a so-called "dry" MRI Sunday in Washington, but "the swelling in the tendon made it difficult to see [the extent of the injury]," according to Rizzo. Strasburg's second MRI will be an arthrogram, with contrasting dye injected into the injured area to create a clearer image of the area.
Rizzo left open the possibility that Strasburg would return to pitch this season and also said that there were no plans for Strasburg to see an outside specialst, like renowed surgeon Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Alabama.
Strasburg exited his start in the fifth inning Saturday after throwing a changeup to Domonic Brown of the Phillies. Strasburg grimaced and shook his hand immediately after throwing the pitch, and was removed from the game after consulting with manager Jim Riggleman and pitching coach Steve McCatty. Immediately following the game, Strasburg was subjected to a battery of strength and range-of-motion tests overseen by a Phillies doctor, which he reportedly passed easily.
"After the tests in Philadelphia, the doctor looked at me and said, 'He'll be ready to pitch again in five days,'" Riggleman said. "Obviously the MRI was less conclusive."
Over the weekend, Riggleman said it was"probably safe to say" that Strasburg would miss his next scheduled start, which had been set for Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that Jordan Zimmerman will start in Strasburg's place on Thursday night.
The Nationals are expected to make a corresponding roster move tomorrow. They have not yet decided on a retroactive date for Strasburg's DL appearance. Strasburg previously went on the disabled list July 29 (retroactive to July 22), after feeling shoulder tightness in the bullpen prior to his scheduled start against the Atlanta Braves July 26. He was reinstated to the active roster August 10.