Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg scratched from Saturday’s start with nerve issue

Vincent Frank
Stephen Strasburg during World series against the Astros
Oct 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning in game six of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the 2020 MLB season has not gone swimmingly for the defending champion Washington Nationals.

They lost a rain-shortened opener to the New York Yankees on Thursday. Star outfielder Juan Soto is also away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19.

We can now add another piece of bad news for Washington.

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg scratched from Saturday’s start

Manager Dave Martinez notes that the reigning World Series MVP is dealing with a nerve issue in his hand. Strasburg is considered day-to-day.

The Nationals simply can’t afford for this to be a long-term injury in what is a sprint to the finish during a truncated 60-game schedule.

Stephen Strasburg’s injury history is concerning

Prior to 2019, the three-time All-Star had not started as much as 30 games in a single season since the 2014 campaign. Numerous injuries have impacted his ability to play a full season in the past.

Last year saw Strasburg pitch to an 18-6 record with a 3.32 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out a career-best 251 batters.

Erick Fedde will be the emergency starter against the Yankees

Set to take on New York Saturday after an off-day, Washington is now in a less-than-ideal situation. Fedde, 27, pitched to a 4-2 record with a 4.50 ERA in 21 appearances (12 starts) for the Nationals last season.

He’s going to have to step up against the current iteration of the Bronx Bombers if the Nationals want to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.