Nationals fear a familiar Stephen Strasburg injury


Stephen Strasburg unfortunately is having a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms following his return outing. The Nats only announced he felt discomfort after a bullpen session, and while there is no official diagnosis, the fear is it’s the very same issue. 

Symptoms associated with thoracic outlet syndrome include finger numbness and nerve pain. Strasburg, who had the TOS surgery last summer, made just one start in his return, and while his velocity was generally down (in the 91 mph range), there were some decent signs. TOS surgery has been hit-or-miss in its success rate among big-league pitchers. Since signing a $245 million, seven-year deal after winning the 2019 World Series MVP, he’s 1-4 with a 6.89 ERA. 

Word is, Walker Buehler may be out as much as 10 to 12 weeks, but that still leaves hope he’ll be back before the season’s out. Naturally, the Dodgers have reinforcements. Andrew Heaney is back soon and Dustin May in about six weeks. And of course, the Dodgers possess a long list of prospects with potential. 

Joe Maddon is said to be relaxing and reconnecting with family since being let go by the Angels. He’d like to manage again, and seven teams did show interest last time he was out there. He picked the Angels due to the long-standing relationship from Angels days with owner Arte Moreno. The Phillies were second on Maddon’s list. He’s from Hazleton, Pa. 

In early returns, folks around the Phillies speak of a better “vibe” in interim manager Rob Thomson’s clubhouse. 

Noah Syndergaard is seeing a return of velocity. He averaged 93.6 mph vs. Texas; 94.1 vs. the Yankees; 94.3 vs. the Red Sox; and finally 95.2 vs. the Dodgers. 

Word is the Nats are almost sure to sell. They’re expected to fetch at least $2 billion but the behind-the scenes goal is $3 billion. Meanwhile, with the Angelos family now suing each other, it would benefit baseball if the Orioles sold, as well. 

Former President George W. Bush showed up at the owners’ meeting. The former Rangers owner was said to be a guest speaker there. No word yet of any interest in being part of a group for the Nats. 

The pitch clock is a boffo success in the minors, cutting games by 24 minutes, with just 0.6 violations a game. … Player of the Week: Rhys Hoskins, Phillies 1B.

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