MASN’s Dan Kolko relayed a conversation he had with Strasburg to Baker prior to Wednesday night’s second game against the Brewers in which Baker said Strasburg has a big-picture mindset about the rest of the season and if the star pitcher has to miss a game because of “achiness” in his arm, that’s OK as long as he is ready for late September into October.
This was news to Baker.
“No, I hadn’t heard him say that,” Baker said. “This changes the whole complexion of everything because we were told he was OK by him saying the big picture. That’s how we look at it. But we didn’t want to say that’s how we look at it without discussing with him first. Because you don’t want to do anything to not have him in September because he hasn’t been in September to this point.”
(Strasburg did start one game in the 2014 postseason.)
“That’s good because he’s very conscious and aware of the past injuries that he’s had,” Baker said. “He’s very self-conscious about that, which I don’t blame him. That’s positive to hear that he conveyed that to you.”
Baker was then asked if the club was still in the market for a frontline starter as the non-waiver trade deadline looms Monday. Is he OK with the number of starters the club has available right now?
“The depth is what it is,” Baker said. “How I feel about it is a moot point. It really doesn’t matter. Just got to figure out a way to get through it and win ballgames. Just trying to figure out how we can best help the guys that we have here.”
Baker confirmed that right-handed pitching prospect Erick Fedde is a possibility to start if Strasburg cannot pitch Saturday, his next scheduled turn in the rotation.
“Yeah, he’s an option,” Baker said. “Everybody’s an option right now. You might be an option right now. Certainly, he’s an option. He was pressed into a relief role because out of need at the time. Now we are stretching him back out. He just happens to be on Strasburg’s same day.”
In other injury news ...
Right-hander Joe Ross was seen in the clubhouse with a mechanical arm sling. He appeared to be in good spirits as he begins rehab from Tommy John surgery performed last Wednesday in Texas.
Outfielder Michael A. Taylor (right oblique strain) was running sprints and long tossing in the outfield during batting practice.
The Nationals reinstated outfielder Ryan Raburn from the bereavement list and have placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a left trapezius strain. The move is retroactive to July 23.
X-rays on shortstop Trea Turner’s fractured right wrist showed no new issues and his recovery is on schedule.
“Trea’s coming along fine,” Baker said. “Not quite ready yet. He can do hand strengthening things as long as he keeps the sleeve on. How long has it been like four weeks? It’s hard to rush health.”