Strasburg will make next start

Strasburg will make next start
May 21, 2012, 10:31 pm
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PHILADELPHIA -- Stephen Strasburg will make his next scheduled start Saturday in Atlanta, with the Nationals showing no concern about the state of their ace's right arm one day after he was pulled with what manager Davey Johnson termed tightness in his biceps.

Johnson said today he sought more of an explanation from Strasburg and pitching coach Steve McCatty and emerged with no reason to be concerned.

"I was trying to get to the bottom of it, but it's just not worth proceeding," the manager said before tonight's game against the Phillies. "He's going to make his next start, that's all I know."

Strasburg threw 90 pitches over five innings Sunday against the Orioles, retiring the last 10 batters he faced (seven via strikeout). Afterward, Johnson revealed the 23-year-old noted some arm discomfort, and when the manager ran through different potential problem areas, Strasburg told him it was in his biceps.

After the game, though, Strasburg denied there being any issue with his biceps, insisting what he felt was merely general fatigue he believes was a product of having worked too hard in between starts.

"It sounds like maybe we didn't get our stories straight," Johnson said. "I talked to him when we were shaking hands out there, I said I'm just going to tell them there's a little tightness in the bicep and it flared up after the first inning and then again after the fifth you were trying to keep it loose. Fine. And then I read the paper today and we're speaking a different language to each other. But that's Stras. Everything's magnified. But he's fine."

Strasburg, who also hit his first career home run during the fourth inning, improved to 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA and an 88-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 combined starts since he returned from Tommy John surgery last fall.

The Nationals have taken extra precautions with the right-hander, as they did last season when teammate Jordan Zimmermann returned from the same elbow ligament replacement surgery, and plan to shut him down sometime before the end of the regular season.

Johnson said Strasburg told him Sunday he didn't want the manager to think he was "not a man or something" for noting the arm discomfort. Johnson assured Strasburg he wasn't treating him with kid gloves.

"No, I do that with anybody," Johnson said. "Anybody in our rotation. Anybody coming out of the pen. If they have anything that was bothering them, they're out. End of conversation."