- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 6, 2017

Stephen Strasburg vowed he would learn from last season. And the injuries before that. And the injuries before that.

Finishing 2016 without again participating in the postseason stayed with Strasburg. In the offseason, he mentioned how important it was to be ready when October came. In spring training, he said repeated the idea. When he left the mound July 23 after two innings, he and the Washington Nationals organization said the move was precautionary. Strasburg was placed on the 10-disabled list shortly afterward because of a nerve impingement in his right elbow. Better to stop a problem now with a dominant division lead.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker suggested Strasburg may miss one start. It is going to be more.

Sunday night, the Nationals revealed their starting pitchers for the coming week. Strasburg was not among them.

Max Scherzer, who departed his last start because of a neck spasm, returns to the mound Monday to open a nine-game homestand. A.J. Cole will follow in Strasburg’s spot. Gio Gonzalez, who will be making his first start since coming off the paternity list, will work Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins. Tanner Roark will finish that four-game series. The San Francisco Giants come to the District for three games during the weekend.

Strasburg has thrown 121 2/3 innings this season. He has not thrown more than 200 innings since 2014 — the only time in his career he has done so — and is unlikely to reach that mark again this season. The Nationals won’t care if he is healthy in October. Strasburg has made one postseason start in his six full major-league seasons.

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