The Nationals have placed ace Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right lat muscle strain in his lower back. Strasburg exited his start Friday in Atlanta after only two innings when he aggravated the lat muscle, in which he had been feeling tightness for several starts.
Strasburg will be eligible to come off the disabled list June 16 but lat strains often take between three and six weeks to fully recover from. The Nationals will need a starter to replace Strasburg’s turn in the rotation Saturday.
Strasburg is playing catch now, but his lat strain won’t allow him to pitch off a mound. Manager Davey Johnson expects him to make one rehab start and return.
The 24-year-old is 3-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts this year. Last season, the Nationals shut him down in September in order to protect him from future arm injury in the wake of his 2010 Tommy John elbow ligament-replacement surgery.