The Nationals will welcome again Stephane Strasbourg for his season debut on Thursday, manager Dave Martinez told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato). The three-time All-Star is back after making a trio of minor league rehab starts, and Thursday’s outing will be his first MLB appearance in just over a calendar year. Strasburg last took a big league mound at Atlanta’s Truist Park on June 1, 2021, an appearance he left with a sore neck. Just under two months later, he underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and he missed the first two months of this season to continue his rehabilitation after that procedure.
The 2019 World Series MVP has made just seven MLB starts since signing a seven-year, $245 million contract in the offseason after the Nationals World Series title. Strasbourg earns $35 million a year until 2026, an investment that seems unfortunate in light of his recent health problems. The Nats desperately need help with the rotation, and they would welcome anything that comes close to Strasbourg’s pre-2020 form. Each of the Patrick Corbin, Joan Adon, Josiah Gray and Eric Fedde has an ERA of 4.71 or higher so far.
Strasbourg make their season debut days after the infielder Eire Adrianza, who was reinstated from the injured list 60 days before today’s game. The Nats already had a vacancy on the 40-man roster, and Lucius Fox was optioned on a corresponding move. Adrianza signed a $1.5 million contract over the winter but suffered a quadruple spring training strain that cost him the first two months of the season. The utiltiyman who hit the switch had a .247/.327/.401 performance as a part-time player for the Braves last year.
The latest on some other injury situations around the game:
- The giants starter placed Alex Cobb on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 4, with a sprained neck. San Francisco recalled Sam Long to take the veteran right-hander’s spot on the active roster. It doesn’t appear the organization is particularly concerned about Cobb’s status, as manager Gabe Kapler told reporters the team hopes he can return when he is eligible for next weekend’s series at Pittsburgh (via Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly). Signed to a two-year, $20 million guarantee this offseason, Cobb has had a strange first season in the Bay Area. He holds career-high marks in both strikeout percentage (28.7%) and rushing ball rate (65.4%), but he still posted a 5.73 ERA during his first eight starts.
- Alec Moulins made his season debut tonight, as Cubs reinstated him on the 60-day injured list ahead of tonight’s game against the Orioles. Chicago had an additional temporary spot in the 40-man roster after placing the reliever Chris Martin on the shortlist over the weekend. Martin has been on bereavement leave for more than the allotted seven days, and he won’t count towards the 40-man list for the extra time he will have to spend away from the team. Mills pitched 119 innings for the Cubs last season, working to a 5.07 ERA while starting 20 of his 32 appearances. The 30-year-old doesn’t throw hard or miss many bats, but he fills the strike zone and grounded on just over half of the balls batted last year. He missed the first two months of the season with a lower back sprain.