Notes: Stras scales back; Lile signs; Castro

July 23rd, 2021

BALTIMORE -- The Nationals have scaled back again after the right-hander experienced a recurrence of discomfort in his neck area following a bullpen session on Wednesday. They are exploring their options, including potentially meeting with another specialist.

“This continues to happen to him, so we need to figure out something else for him,” manager Dave Martinez said.

Strasburg, who has been on the injured list since June 2 because of a neck strain, has been facing obstacles in his recovery. He feels OK after throwing long toss, but he has been having an achy feeling after throwing bullpens. This also happened earlier this month following a July 9 bullpen session.

“I can say that I watched him throw the last couple bullpens, and the ball was coming out fine,” Martinez said. “He looked good. He was staying in his legs a little bit better. I know we’ve talked about him standing a little bit taller, and he did that. The next day, he comes back and his neck area, his trap area is sore. We have to figure out why that is.”

Strasburg has been limited to 21 2/3 innings this season. This just one year after undergoing season-ending carpal tunnel surgery on his right hand after tossing just five frames.

“He’s frustrated because he’s worked so hard,” Martinez said. “I told him, ‘We’ve got to figure out what it is, and then we’ll go from there. We’ve been here before. It’s been a bumpy road for you, and I know you want to come back and pitch.’ The biggest thing is, he has to stay positive. He’s got to understand that it’s unfortunate, but as I always tell him, I’d love to have him back, but when I get him back, I want him to be healthy.”

Nationals ink second-rounder
The Nationals signed Daylen Lile, their second-round pick in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft (No. 47 overall), on Friday. The left-handed-hitting outfielder out of Trinity High School (Ky.) signed for $1.75 million, above the $1,580,200 pick value.

Of their top 10 picks, only first-round pick, shortstop Brady House, remains unsigned.

Castro update
Major League Baseball has extended Starlin Castro’s administrative leave for an additional seven days (through July 29) with the agreement of the MLB Players Association. The veteran infielder was placed on administrative leave last Friday under the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.