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Strasburg on DL, Balester recalled

Aug 24, 2010, 7:35 PM EST


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Collin Balester’s return from Syracuse may not last long.

The Nationals have officially placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm flexor strain and recalled reliever Collin Balester from Class AAA Syracuse to take his roster spot for now.

The DL move is retroactive to August 22, so Strasburg will be eligible to return as soon as September 6. The Nats, of course, won’t know whether the rookie will actually return that soon (if at all this season) until he undergoes an enhanced MRI later this week.

Balester’s recall is a bit surprising, given his struggles earlier this month when he pitched out of the Nationals’ bullpen (he plunked both Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds in the head with 95 mph fastballs in a span of nine days). But his stay up here may not last long.

The Nationals will need to remove someone from the 25-man roster Thursday when Jordan Zimmermann is recalled to start that night’s game against the Cardinals. Balester may only serving as a temporary, fresh arm out of the bullpen until Zimmermann arrives.

  1. raymitten - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Yeesh. Do they have someone they want hit in the head?

  2. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    raymitten,Like I didn't know this comment was coming?JD

  3. Ernie - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Colin Balester = Brother Mouzone of the Wire?

  4. TimDz - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TAKE COVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Section 222 - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Balester? Seriously? Is there not a single relief pitcher in our minor league system who they would prefer to call on in a pinch tonight or tomorrow night? That's really sad.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    They recalled Severino (he is also on the 40-man) and Riggleman refused to use him? Again, this has to be Riggleman, who knows why?

  7. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Not Balester! This pathetic team keeps rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. It's about time to take another shot at Jason Bergmann and Logan Kensing.

  8. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Cripes guys; we are talking about pitcher no.12 on the team to be used in case of a blow out so we don't need to use Stammen or Batista. What's the big commotion? we are talking about 2 days. Sometimes I feel that people just whine for the sake of whining. JD

  9. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    The Balester callup must be part of an elaborate strategy to get Zambrano out of the game. Balester throws at someone, noted hothead Zambrano retaliates, they both get tossed. Of course you wouldn't want to assign that mission to someone you're actually hoping will make a postive contribution for your team. Ergo, Balester.A few times through this scenario, they'll no longer even need to put Balester in the game. Merely calling him up will cause opponents to sit their entire starting rotation for a series.

  10. DJ - Aug 24, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Don't know why Balester is catching this much heat. He is 1-0 with a 3.92 ERA, 31/16 K/BB in 39 innings as a reliever in AAA (his first season coming out of the pen). He's given up just 2 earned runs in all of August, with 9 k's.

  11. Section 222 - Aug 24, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    "Don't know why Balester is catching this much heat." Um, maybe it's because during his last *major league* stint, he hit two guys in the head. I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed with minor league stats, and I would just as soon never see that guy on the mound in a Nationals uniform again.

  12. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Section 222, Thank god you are not making personnel decisions; you'd have guys shipped out after 2-3 bad games. Balester is a 24 year old pitcher with a great arm;they are not a dime a dozen. Phily gave up on Gavin Floyd after 3 years in the majors; you think they'd take him back?

  13. Spike94wl - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Mark,Someone on ESPN.com has written that Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery. Is there any shred of evidence to back this up or is this just some reporter's attempt to rile everybody up?

  14. N. Cognito - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Spike94wl said… "Mark,Someone on ESPN.com has written that Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery. Is there any shred of evidence to back this up or is this just some reporter's attempt to rile everybody up?"That's not what they said.

  15. Spike94wl - Aug 25, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    N. Cognito said… "That's not what they said."Per the ESPN.com article:"As expected, the Washington Nationals put rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg back on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained flexor tendon and there is concern in some corners of the organization that Strasburg has suffered a more serious elbow injury…The flexor tendon can impact the stability and the integrity of the elbow ligament. Some pitchers have missed months after tearing the flexor tendon. If Strasburg has torn the ligament in his right elbow, he likely would require reconstructive elbow surgery, most commonly known as Tommy John surgery, and would be sidelined a year."Yes, they did.

  16. N. Cognito - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Spike94wl said… "N. Cognito said… "That's not what they said."Per the ESPN.com article:"As expected, the Washington Nationals put rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg back on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained flexor tendon and there is concern in some corners of the organization that Strasburg has suffered a more serious elbow injury…The flexor tendon can impact the stability and the integrity of the elbow ligament. Some pitchers have missed months after tearing the flexor tendon. If Strasburg has torn the ligament in his right elbow, he likely would require reconstructive elbow surgery, most commonly known as Tommy John surgery, and would be sidelined a year."Yes, they did." That is a suppositional statement advanced by the writer. Not an indication that it is currently considered a possibility.Reading is wonderful. Reading comprehension is better.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Nothing like a little yack'em smack'em to get the morning going. Game to Mr. N. Cognito.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    I wouldn't give it to N. Cognito yet … Spike merely said "might" in the comment: Someone on ESPN.com has written that Strasburg might need Tommy John surgeryThen quoted the article where someone on ESPN did in fact say Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery.

  19. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    You know; it's not as if anything said here can influence the truth; it just shows the anxiety Nats fans are experiencing until we know.I think we have some real cause for concern given the need for a secondary test (they wouldn't have done a second test if the results of the 1st one were good). Some people suggested here when it 1st happened that :'they should have left him in if he wanted to continue' and 'they should stop babying him'; I think it's now fairly apparent to everyone how moronic these statements were. These people who are hell bent on making sure he gets his 150 – 160 innings in should consider the possibility that an injury would make all that irrelevant.

  20. N. Cognito - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Strasburg also might need to be wheeled into emergency surgery should a blood clot form in his elbow and move to his brain.Someone on Nats Insider has written that Strasburg might have a serious blood clot.Don't read into this ESPN article more than is there. The TJ comment is suppositional and informative. Nothing more.Of course that means sometime in the next few days we'll learn he needs TJ surgery.

  21. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    In the absence of facts, everyone is speculating. And, yes, it is being driven by anxiety. But ESPN says what it says because they need to keep people reading. Their motivation? Self-interest. They have a reason to keep stirring the pot–bad news sells. As hard as it is to do, let's wait for the results of the second test. Worrying and speculating won't change anything. Your free pastoral advice for the day…

  22. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    I'm going to have to side with Spike94wl on this one. http://www.usatoday.com/communities/fantasywindup/Index

  23. Observer101 - Aug 25, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    I agree with one of the posters above. It's useless to speculate at this point….But he if does end up needing Tommy John, I think Mark will have a definite worst day in Nationals history to add to his recent post.

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