After missing his last start and being scratched from his next one, something was clearly not right with Stephen Strasburg. The Washington Nationals have decided to not take any chances with the ace, placing him on the DL.
Stephen Strasburg has been placed on 15-day DL, retro to 6/16, w/ an upper back strain. A corresponding roster move will be announced tmrw.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 26, 2016
According to Chelsea James of the Washington Post, the corresponding roster move will not be either Austin Voth or Lucas Giolito.
The timing could not be much worse for Washington. While the Nats are still in first place in the National League East, they have now dropped the last seven games.
How much time Strasburg ends up missing is very much in flux. Since it’s retroactive to June 16, he only has to be on the DL for five more days. It’s certainly possible that Washington realized he couldn’t make that start and decided to call up reinforcements. If that’s the case, then Strasburg will likely miss one, maybe two starts.
Obviously that will be determined by how quickly he heals. Given how much time remains in the season, the Nationals are still at a point where being conservative is probably the best play. With two weeks of baseball left to play before the All-Star break, it’s certainly possible that we won’t see Strasburg until the second half.
Strasburg is in the midst of a terrific season in Washington. In 93 innings, the right-hander has a 2.90 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 118 strikeouts. He is also 10-0 with 10 quality starts in 14 outings.