Strasburg expected to make next start

Strasburg expected to make next start
April 30, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Updated at 6:40 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Nationals don't believe Stephen Strasburg's forearm tightness is serious and expect the right-hander to make his next scheduled start this weekend in Pittsburgh.

General manager Mike Rizzo said Strasburg had "some irritation on his forearm" in the wake of last night's start against the Braves, but the right-hander is "healthy, happy and ready to pitch Saturday."

The Nationals believe the nerve irritation was a result of an electric stimulation procedure Strasburg underwent as part of his typical pregame routine. He was examined by the Braves team doctor, who reported no medical issues.

"He was given a clean bill of health," Rizzo said.

Manager Davey Johnson was less emphatic about Strasburg's readiness for Saturday's start against the Pirates, saying he wants to see the 24-year-old come out of tomorrow's regular bullpen session with no problems. At the same time, Johnson isn't overly concerned about the state of Strasburg's arm, especially after watching him strike out the side in his final inning of work last night.

"The way he finished off the sixth, it was pretty impressive," Johnson said. "The doctor didn't think anything was wrong. Why should I?"

Johnson mentioned the forearm tightness following the game, but Strasburg bristled at any notion he wasn't 100 percent physically or might have to miss any time moving forward.

"I'm not missing my next start, I'll tell you right now," he said.

Strasburg, now 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA in six starts this season, may be a victim more of lofty expectations and his own high standard for success than any physical ailment.

"He's such a good pitcher," Johnson said. "I just wish he'd get to a point where he doesn't put so many high demands on himself and just goes out and has a little more fun. That may take a little while. But I don't really worry that much about him. He's still awfully good, even when he struggles."

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