Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg said he is not sure he wants ever again to play in an All-Star Game.
The right-hander on Sunday said he is sure that the change that was made in his routine for the game last season had contributed to his injury that put him on the team’s disabled list. Therefore, he said he may skip future All-Star events. In 2018, the Nationals will be the hosts of the Midsummer Classic.
His invitation in 2017 to the Miami All-Star Game was the third of his career. He did not play in the game, but his pitching routine was thrown off, said Strasburg, and during just his second start after the All-Star break, he had to leave after pitching just two innings.
Following that early exit, Strasburg was placed on the DL for over three weeks due to an issue with the nerve in his right elbow.
Strasburg said it is difficult at the All-Star Game as you are asked to pitch, and then potentially pitch, then maybe not, with no ability to remain with your routine. Then he added, following the break it is immediately back to bullpen, day off, pitch.
He is certain that the slight lapse of his routine, for whatever real reason, pushed him back and started making his arm hurt. Prior to that, Strasburg said his arm felt fine but following the break it did not.
He finished the season 15-4 with an ERA of 2.52, ending third in the National League Cy Young Award voting, that was won by Max Scherzer his teammate.
In the NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, the Nationals’ pitcher was 1-1 allowing no earned runs over 14 innings, which included his gem in Game 4 in which he had 12 strikeouts across 7 innings to win 5-0.
Strasburg entered Washington’s spring training last February coming off problems with his pitching arm at the end of the previous season. Scherzer had a stress fracture problem with his knuckle. Both will enter spring training 2018 healthy.
Washington’s general manager Mike Rizzo has said that the offseason, when preparing for the upcoming spring training and not rehabbing to reach spring training, is a big difference.
He added that having both Scherzer and Strasburg healthy is a big plus as they can prepare for spring training and a long 162-game regular season.