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Strasburg on pace to return shortly after ASG

Rodriguez called up for pitching depth after Fedde hits DL
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are expecting to activate Stephen Strasburg shortly after the All-Star break, manager Dave Martinez said Thursday.

"We want to make sure that [Strasburg]'s 100 percent," Martinez said. "That there's no setbacks."

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are expecting to activate Stephen Strasburg shortly after the All-Star break, manager Dave Martinez said Thursday.

"We want to make sure that [Strasburg]'s 100 percent," Martinez said. "That there's no setbacks."

View Full Game Coverage

Strasburg, who has been on the disabled list since June 9 with right shoulder inflammation, has already thrown three bullpen sessions, including a 60-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He is on track to throw a simulated game this weekend at Nationals Park. If all goes well, Strasburg could be ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment, and his return to the Majors should follow.

The Nationals' rotation could use Strasburg's return to provide a boost. Once the strength of this team, the staff finished June tied with the Marlins for the worst starting pitchers' ERA in the National League.

Fedde to DL; Rodriguez promoted
The Nats placed right-hander Erick Fedde on the disabled list Thursday with right shoulder inflammation, a day after he was forced to leave his outing in the second inning. The team felt encouraged after Fedde's MRI showed no structural damage, but the Nats will still be careful with their highest ranked pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Video: BOS@WSH: Fedde leaves the game with shoulder injury

"For us, that's good," Martinez said, regarding Fedde's test results. "He's on the DL, and he's going to get some time to recover and strengthen his shoulder back up, and see where we go from there."

Fedde had been filling in for the injured Strasburg and posted a 5.79 ERA in six starts this season. With Strasburg on the way back from injury, Fedde might not have a spot in Washington's rotation when he returns, but the team can breathe a sigh of relief for his health.

In Fedde's place, the Nats promoted right-hander Jefry Rodriguez. Rodriguez could slot into the vacant rotation spot left by Fedde, but the team also wanted to have him active Thursday night against the Marlins as long relief insurance, because starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson is battling an illness.

Worth noting
Matt Wieters completed a full pregame routine Thursday, including running the bases for the first time to test out his left hamstring injury. He said it was the best he has felt since his hamstring surgery on May 17.

Video: WSH@ARI: Wieters comes up lame after rounding first

After playing in a simulated game this week and going through a full pregame, he will test himself running the bases again the next few days, and he could begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend.

Ryan Zimmerman is also scheduled to run the bases this weekend, the final step in his rehab process from his right oblique injury. Once that is complete, he could start playing in rehab games as soon as Sunday or Monday.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Erick Fedde, Stephen Strasburg