Strasburg likely Monday in Potomac for rehab start; plus injury updates

Nationals manager Dusty Baker had the latest on how close Stephen Strasburg is to returning to the rotation.

“It’s not written in stone but he had a good session the other day,” Baker said. “He’s supposed to go out here pretty soon for a rehab assignment.”

strasburg-throws-white.jpgPitching coach Mike Maddux said Strasburg’s most recent bullpen session went well and that he is building stamina. His likely rehab assignment is Monday night for high Single-A Potomac at home in Woodbridge, Va., against Salem.

Maddux said Strasburg will throw a maximum of 75 pitches Monday.

When putting together the rotation for Sunday’s day-night doubleheader against the Giants, Baker said Max Scherzer would prefer to pitch at night. So that means A.J. Cole gets the call for the opener Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

“What went into the decision is Maxie would rather pitch at night,” Baker said. “You gotta kind of acquiesce with what one of your ace’s wants to do. Until the other guy’s are aces then they have to adjust to your aces.”

Baker knows the Giants will go with Chris Stratton, who was scheduled for the Friday game that was rained out, and Matt Moore on Sunday.

“They’ve changed two or three times,” Baker said. “We’re not sure if Moore’s going to go the first game or the second game, which is going affect my decision on the lineup.”

The Giants game notes later confirmed Stratton will pitch game one Sunday and Moore the nightcap.

Baker had the latest on Michael A. Taylor (oblique) and Shawn Kelley (trapezius strain) updates and their rehab assignments.

“Not really sure. We want them back when they are sharp,” Baker stated. “We don’t want them back to struggle because they lost a lot of time. They tell me (Kelley’s) not quite as sharp as we like it and in Michael’s case his timing’s not where we like it either. So, different guys arrive with their sharpness and timing at different points whether it’s at-bats or innings pitched.”

Enny Romero (left forearm strain) is back playing catch, but Baker did not have a specific date for his return.

“No, but it’s a good that he’s playing catch and he’s out to a certain distance,” Baker said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back soon. We don’t know the timetable.”

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