The Washington Nationals were dealt good news Tuesday. According to pitching coach Mike Maddux, ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg will return to action as soon as he’s eligible.
Mike Maddux said yesterday's bullpen went well, and he expects Strasburg to be ready to come off DL as soon as he's eligible – so next week.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) August 30, 2016
Strasburg was placed on the DL on August 22, his second DL stint of the season. He last pitched on August 17.
Presuming he returns healthy, Washington and its fans have to hope that his injury was getting in Strasburg’s way in August. While Strasburg’s seasonal totals (15-4 record, 3.59 ERA, 1.108 WHIP) are good, his August totals (1-3 record, 10.19 ERA, 1.981 WHIP) were awful.
The good news is that the Nationals can afford to be very cautious with Strasburg. Entering play on Tuesday, the Nats hold a commanding nine-game lead over both the New York Mets and Miami Marlins in the National League East, making a playoff spot all but assured.
Assuming he remains healthy, Strasburg will likely head into the postseason as Washington’s No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher.