- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to be activated off the disabled list and start Friday for the Washington Nationals, manager Dave Martinez announced Tuesday.

Strasburg has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation, flaring up in his two-inning start June 8 against the San Francisco Giants. In 80 ⅔ innings this season, Strasburg has a 3.46 ERA.

Strasburg made rehab starts July 10 and 15 for Single-A Potomac. His next start will come against the Atlanta Braves, Martinez said, a team five games ahead of the Nationals in the National League East standings. 

Since Strasburg’s injury, Washington’s pitching staff has struggled. Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark have struggled to go deep into outings lately, and the Nationals have been forced to start rookie options Jefry Rodriguez, Erick Fedde and Austin Voth during that span.

Jeremy Hellickson recently returned from his own stint on the DL, so the Nationals are nearing a healthy rotation again.

Strasburg’s return for the second-half opener Friday could aid a club facing an uphill climb toward a third straight division title. Washington rests at .500 at the break, 5 1/2 games behind East-leading Philadelphia.

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