Nationals place Strasburg on 10-day IL with neck strain

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The Washington Nationals placed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day injured list for the second time this season after an MRI revealed a neck strain.

In his fifth start of the season against the Atlanta Braves, Strasburg threw only 14 of 30 pitches for strikes and seven pitches over 90 mph. He was ultimately pulled from the game in the second inning after being hit by a line drive that struck his glove hand.

Strasburg began to experience tightness in his neck and shoulder and traveled to Washington on Wednesday to meet with lead team physician Dr. Robin West. He underwent an MRI that revealed a neck strain and returned to the injured list for the second time in 13 days with a 1-2 record and a 4.57 ERA for the season.

The 32-year-old was shut down earlier this year from April 15 until May 21 due to right shoulder inflammation, and without an official timeline for his return, he will likely spend more than the 10-day minimum to rehab the injury.

“I feel for Stephen,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He missed all of last year. He felt great, wanted to come back and help and he’s had a rough go so far. But we’ll get him back. And once we get him back and he’s healthy, he’s going to help us win games.”

Strasburg made only two starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign before nerve issues in his throwing hand shut him down for the year. He has thrown just 26⅔ innings since signing a seven-year, $240 million contract in December 2019 after he went 5-0 in the MLB postseason and helped the Nationals to the World Series title.

The Nationals recalled right-handed reliever Kyle McGowin from Triple-A Rochester, who has posted a 3.09 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season.