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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Report: Ex-World Series MVP to make season debut for Nationals Thursday

Stephen Strasburg looking ahead

Oct 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) speaks to the media prior to working out one day before the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in over a year, Stephen Strasburg is expected to be back on a major league mound.

On Tuesday, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reported that Strasburg will start against the Miami Marlins on Thursday in Miami.

Strasburg pitched a bullpen session on Monday and felt good enough to rejoin the team’s starting rotation this week.

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Nationals in December 2019, but has only pitched in 26.2 innings since then after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last July. He last pitched in the majors on June 1, 2021.

The three-time All-Star had started three games on a rehab assignment with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. Strasburg had a 1.98 ERA with 13 strikeouts and a 0.73 WHIP in 13.2 innings.

Strasburg’s last full season in 2019 was one of the best in baseball. His 18 wins and 209 innings pitched were the most in the National League. The 32-year-old finished the regular season with a 3.32 ERA, 251 strikeouts and a 1.04 WHIP. Strasburg was named 2019 World Series MVP after going 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

The Nationals are in need of any pitching help that they can get at this point in the season. Entering Tuesday, their staff had MLB’s second-worst ERA (5.30). Getting Strasburg back, whether he’s fully healthy or not, should be a big help in lowering that number.

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