Washington Nationals hopes take major hit with Stephen Strasburg surgery

The Washington Nationals hopes to repeat have taken a major hit as Stephen Strasburg has been lost for the rest of the season.

The Washington Nationals had been fearing the worst when it came to Stephen Strasburg. He had been placed on the Injured List on August 15, initially diagnosed with carpal tunnel neuritis in his right hand. However, he had been sent to a nerve specialist to confirm, giving the Nationals hope that Strasburg could return this year.

Those hopes have been dashed. Not only has the diagnosis been confirmed, but Strasburg will undergo season ending surgery next week.

Strasburg had been injured to begin the season, as the nerve issue had been a problem from the start of the year. He had looked like his former self in the first four innings of his debut, allowing two hits and recording two strikeouts, before the wheels came off and his hand began bothering him once again.

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Following that fourth inning, Strasburg recorded only three more outs, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk. It had become clear that those nerve issues were not going to disappate any time soon.

Strasburg’s loss is a tremendous blow for the Nationals’ hopes at a repeat. He had dominated in the 2019 regular season, leading the National League with 18 wins and 209 innings while posting a 3.32 ERA and a 1.038 WHiP. He struck out 251 batters while allowing only 56 walks, but was even more dominant in the World Series, where he was named the MVP.

There also has to be some concern for the long term. Strasburg is in the first season of a seven year, $245 million contract, with the Nationals gambling that he and Patrick Corbin can head the rotation into the middle of the decade.

In the immediate future, Strasburg’s spot in the rotation is likely to be filled by Eric Fedde. He had come in for Strasburg after his abbreviated final start, and has posted a solid 2.55 ERA in his 17.2 innings, although his 1.528 WHiP and 5.61 FIP indicate that there is a great deal of regression coming.

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The Washington Nationals have been dealt a tough blow in their hopes to repeat, as World Series hero Stephen Strasburg is lost for the year. They need another starter to step up in a hurry.

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