BALTIMORE - Manager Davey Martinez said injured starter Stephen Strasburg will have a medical evaluation done by a hand specialist in a couple of days. The right-hander was placed on the injured list Saturday with carpal tunnel neuritis in his right hand. Unfortunately, Martinez believes the issue won’t be solved anytime soon.
“We want to have a follow-up on Monday, going to do some nerve tests on his hand,” Martinez said during the pregame Zoom video call. “I don’t think this is going to get better soon. We tried. Right now, we are going to try and see if we can get him healthy.”
Strasburg was unavailable during postgame Friday and again was not available during pregame today. During his short stint last night on the mound, MASN cameras showed him flexing his hand and trying to shake off a tingling sensation between pitches. But after 16 pitches, only seven for strikes, he was done.
“He felt like he could pitch,” Martinez said. “He felt he threw a good bullpen. It just gets to that point that his thumb just goes numb. He tried to shake it out. Sometimes it feels better, sometimes it doesn’t. I watched him yesterday. I didn’t want him to go through that. The best thing to do is to just figure out what it is and get it right.”
The skipper described the conversation he had with Strasburg today when he told his pitcher the team wanted to place him on the injured list. It is Strasburg’s first stay on the IL since August 2018.
“No one is ever happy about being hurt,” Martinez said. “It’s not a good feeling, but everything that he’s gone through over the last few weeks, I told him, ‘I think it’s the best thing - for not only you but for us too - to get you right. Because we still got baseball. I know it’s a short season but the best (part) of the season is still to come.’ Hopefully, we will find at the end here that he’s available. Let’s get you right for that.
“I think he didn’t want to accept it, but he accepted it. Let’s put it that way.”
So with this nerve problem in Strasburg’s hand going on for over a week, is it time to just shut him down for the season? Martinez wasn’t ready to go that far.
“Right now we are focused on Monday and see what they say Monday,” he said. “We are going to listen to what the doctors say and then come up with something after that. We will see how everything plays out next week. Hopefully, we get some good news, but we will see.
“This guy is a big part of our future. They don’t want to jeopardize anything at this point right now. Get him healthy, when he’s back 100 percent he will start pitching again.”
The lineup was posted without Howie Kendrick in the starting nine. It is the first game he has not started since last Sunday. Martinez said it was just a day of rest for the veteran slugger, and not because of an injury.
Martinez placed Juan Soto in the No. 3 hole for the first time this season.
“I mixed it up a little bit today,” Martinez said. “Howie is not in the lineup. We basically just pushed everybody up. We will see how it works out. With Howie in the lineup, we might keep Juan fourth. We will see how this works out today. I looked at it, I kind of like it.”
Injured second baseman Starlin Castro underwent a CT scan on his fractured right wrist. The results were not available during pregame.