WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are considering treatment options, including surgery, after Stephen Strasburg met with a nerve specialist on Thursday and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel neuritis in his right hand. Strasburg was placed on the 10-day IL with the injury on Sunday.
“Now we’re going to sit back and discuss what the plans are moving forward,” Martinez said before the Nationals opened their series against the Marlins on Friday. “I think it’s something that’s going to have to be fixed.”
Martinez planned to speak with Strasburg on Friday to gain insight as to how the 11th-year veteran wants to proceed before the team makes any decisions.
“We don’t know -- are we conservative and let it try to heal?” Martinez said. “Or the other option is, it could be possible to have surgery.”
Strasburg, 32, began experiencing tingling in his right hand toward the end of Summer Camp, and he missed his first two starts of the regular season. Strasburg tried to pitch through the discomfort, but he has appeared in only five innings over two outings, including an early exit after two-thirds of a frame last Friday.
“It helps us all knowing that we can have a plan going forward,” Martinez said. “But my concern is always Stephen and hope that he recovers as quick as possible -- regardless of whether he pitches again this year or not -- but he’s ready to go for Spring Training of next year.”
Strasburg is coming off a 2019 performance in which he was named the World Series Most Valuable Player. He signed a record seven-year, $245 million contract in December.
It is unclear at this time how long Strasburg would be out once he determines his course of treatment.
“He’s going to be missed, no matter what,” Martinez said. “Every start with him was always good every five days to put his name in there and watch him do his thing.”
On-call starter Erick Fedde has been filling Strasburg’s spot in the rotation this season. He is 0-0 with a 3.68 over 7 1/3 innings in two starts. Martinez said he is “leaning toward” Fedde pitching in one of the doubleheader games on Saturday.
“The rest of these guys, they know what they need to do,” Martinez said. “They’ll pick up the slack and we’ll go from there.”
As the Nationals determine their course of action for Strasburg, several other veteran players are on the mend.
• Starlin Castro underwent surgery on Friday to have a pin placed in his broken right wrist. Martinez said he would receive an update on the starting second baseman following the procedure.
• Infielder/designated hitter Howie Kendrick (tight hamstrings) was out of the lineup again on Friday. He last played on Aug. 14. There had been a possibility Kendrick could return in the series opener vs. Miami, and he recently told Martinez he was feeling “75, 80 percent.”
“He’s progressing,” Martinez said. “I’m hoping he’d be available to pinch-hit today, and being that we have two games tomorrow, maybe play in one of the games. But we’ll see how he feels after he runs [on Friday].”
• Left-hander Sean Doolittle threw 24 pitches in a simulation game at the alternate training site on Friday. Martinez said he “felt pretty good” as he works his way back from right knee fatigue.
“Reaching triple digits on homers, I knew I was coming close,” Gomes said. “I think last year, I hit one and a guy robbed it, so I was like, ‘Man, this is going to be a tough one.’ … I think it’s a little personal milestone that I can take back. Honestly, just getting to play this game has been an honor. But reaching a kind of milestone like that is pretty cool.”
Gomes already has one prized baseball in his possession -- from Game 7 of last year’s World Series. So will he add his centennial homer to his collection?
“I mean, you guys aren’t going to fight me for that one, right?” Gomes said with a smile. “I think I can keep that one on my own.”