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MLB: Nationals place ace RHP Stephen Strasburg (neck) on IL

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The Washington Nationals placed ace right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day injured list Wednesday evening because of a strained neck, one night after he was pulled early from a start against the Atlanta Braves.

This marks the second time this season that the three-time All-Star has been on the IL. He missed a handful of starts earlier this season due to right shoulder soreness.

Strasburg underwent an MRI Wednesday after flying back to Washington D.C. He was making his third start since returning from his previous IL stint when he departed in the second inning after a sharp ground ball struck by the Braves’ William Contreras hit him on the heel of his glove.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez and athletic trainer Paul Lessard visited the mound one inning earlier when Strasburg walked leadoff man Ronald Acuna Jr. on four pitches to start his outing. Strasburg was allowed to remain in the game, but never looked comfortable, showing lower velocity and throwing mostly curveballs and changeups.

Strasburg was examined in the clubhouse between innings, but he was allowed to hit for himself in the top of the second inning. He walked Abraham Almonte to start the second inning and was injured on the next play. In 1 1/3 innings, Strasburg allowed one hit, walked two and had one strikeout.

He has a history of arm injuries dating back to his rookie season of 2010. He made only five starts the following season after his return from Tommy John surgery, and he made only two starts in 2020, working five total innings, as he dealt with nerve issues in his pitching hand.

Strasburg, 32, is 113-61 with a 3.21 ERA in 246 starts. He finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2017, when he went 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA in 28 starts.

He went 18-6 in 2019 as the Nationals rebounded from a slow start and went on to win the World Series, where Strasburg was named World Series MVP.

The Nationals called up Kyle McGowin from Triple-A Rochester to replace Strasburg. McGowin, 29, has posted a 3.09 ERA in 10 relief outings with the Nationals this season.

–Field Level Media

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