In what could possibly be the worst news that the Nationals could have gotten, Stephen Strasburg was shut down while warming up for his scheduled start against Atlanta. Strasburg told pitching coach Steve McCatty that he was having trouble getting loose during his warm-ups in the bullpen and GM Mike Rizzo decided against letting Strasburg start the game. It wasn't an easy sell to the former number one pick, as both catcher Ivan Rodriguez and McCatty had to convince Strasburg that there was no reason to pitch and risk aggravating a possible injury, which is why Rizzo eventually stepped in and just shut down Strasburg.
"He was having problems getting loose in the bullpen, so I pulled the plug on it - precautionary move," Rizzo told MLB.com. "I just didn't want him to go out there when he was struggling to get loose in the bullpen. There is no shooting of pain or anything like that in his shoulder or elbow. He was just struggling to get loose."
As it turned out, Strasburg underwent an exam to determine if there was any damage to the labrum or shoulder capsule and Strasburg showed no signs of problems with either test. From there, the Nationals had x-rays taken and even had Strasburg undergo an MRI and everything came back fine. "The X-ray was negative, which is a good thing. We sent him for an MRI, and the MRI shows no changes from his original MRI right after we signed him. No change there. No rotator cuff damage, no labral damage, so that's good news. He is diagnosed with a little inflammation in the shoulder. He'll be on anti-inflammatories, in treatment and his status is still day-to-day. We are still not sure where he is at."
Strasburg had reportedly had the same issue while pitching for San Diego State.
Strasburg will be listed as day-to-day and there is no indication whether he'll be able to make his next scheduled start against Philadelphia on Sunday. Even though Strasburg was upset at being scratched, the Nationals were taking no chances with their valuable staff ace. "We are doing the right thing for him and the organization. That was it," McCatty said. "I told Strasburg, 'We are not going to take a chance.' There is no reason to."