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And based on a new report, he won’t be returning anytime soon.
According to Jesse Dougherty, Strasburg is suffering from “severe nerve damage” and has been shut down from all physical activity.
Strasburg’s situation is so dire that the Nationals have essentially refrained from putting a timetable on his recovery.
Not just this season. For the rest of his career.
Strasburg made just one start in 2022, lasting 4 2/3 innings, and given the prognosis, there may not be another.
It could be a frustrating, expensive end to Strasburg’s illustrious career that started with exceptional expectations.
Strasburg’s Career Went From Extreme Highs To Extreme Lows
Strasburg entered Major League Baseball with an extraordinary amount of hype.
Widely regarded as one of the best draft prospects ever, he was immediately dominant after joining the Nationals rotation in 2010.
A disappointing injury cost him 2011, but his run of success from 2012-2019 mostly lived up to expectations.
His 2017 season was the best of his career, putting up a 2.52 ERA with 204 strikeouts in just 175 innings.
But his greatest accomplishment was his dominance during the 2019 playoffs, culminating in a Nationals World Series win.
Strasburg struck out 47 in just 36 innings, with a 1.98 ERA and 5-0 record. At just 30-years-old, the Nationals then made a relatively defensible decision to sign him to a massive new contract.
For 7-years and $245 million, the Nats seemed to lock up their ace for the rest of his career.
But things have gone horribly wrong ever since.
Strasburg’s made just eight starts since 2019, providing literally 0 WAR for the team’s $140 million in payments.
And based on this report, that may be all they ever get out of him. Worse, Dougherty reported that the Nationals don’t have disability insurance on his contract, meaning they’ve essentially given away $245 million.
While his injury history made a long-term commitment a bit more risky, Strasburg’s 2019 performance certainly justified a big payday.
But “severe nerve damage” sure sounds like an disappointing end to what appeared to be a brilliant career.