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Storylines: Stephen Strasburg determined to remain healthy

Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg is focused on coming back healthy, plus all the other news and notes from around Major League Baseball...

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· Washington Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg has had trouble staying on the field in his career, missing numerous games due to arm and back issues over the years. One problem that could have led to last season’s injuries was the addition of the slider to his repertoire. It was effective against opposing batters, but it could have potentially led to the elbow injury he suffered at the end of the season. It was his second most-used pitch last year. He used it because it got hitters out more quickly than his fastball. “I fell in love with it,” Strasburg said in explaining his reliance on the slider. “It was working in the first half. My arm wasn’t accustomed to throwing that pitch that many times.” The Nationals are bound to adjust to the proper way of using Strasburg next season so he can stay healthy. One idea has been to modify his throwing program to cause less wear-and-tear on his arm.  He will begin his regular throwing program in January.

News and Notes

· Evan Woodberry of Mlive.com reports that the Detroit Tigers are listening to offers on relievers Justin Wilson and Shane Greene.

· Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the San Francisco Giants have signed lefty Matt Reynolds to a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. 

· According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Giants plan to keep ace Madison Bumgarner for the long haul, but talks for a contract extension will not come until next offseason. He would likely sign a record deal.

· Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com reports that free agent slugger Jose Bautista wanted to “work something out” with the Boston Red Sox, but they were out of payroll space, and didn’t want to take the costly luxury tax threshold that would follow.

· According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Houston Astros have shown interest in starters Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura. No talks have started.

· Adam Rubin of ESPN reports that New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares suffered an injury in the Dominican Winter League after making a diving catch. X-rays were negative.

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