Stephen Strasburg remained on track to make his next start on Saturday night by throwing his typical between-starts bullpen session this afternoon. “Felt great,” Strasburg said, putting emphasis on both words.
Sunday, Manager Davey Johnson pulled Strasburg after five innings and 90 pitches after he learned Strasburg had felt tightness in his arm. Johnson’s admission created mild panic, but Strasburg insisted he was just fine.
Pitching coach Steve McCatty and Johnson said Monday that Strasburg had felt typical soreness for a pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery. Strasburg said today the issue became a bigger deal than necessary.
“I’d say so,” Strasburg said. “I mean, if I wasn’t coming off of Tommy John, I think I would have stayed in there. But it is what it is.”
Strasburg has come to grips with the fact that, even though he is almost two years removed from the surgery, the Nationals are still placing some restrictions on him.
“I try not to think about too much out there,” Strasburg said. “I just pitch. But they feel like there’s times when they feel like it’s better to take me out a little bit earlier than a little bit later. It’s a long season, so I guess they’re trying to maximize my innings this year.”
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