Mar 22, 2013, 9:43 PM EST
Steve McCatty, Lee Kuntz and Davey Johnson watch Stephen Strasburg throw.
VIERA, Fla. — The ball came screaming off Prince Fielder's bat, struck Stephen Strasburg's left arm and then careened into shallow center field as the crowd of 7,199 at Space Coast Stadium let out a collective gasp followed by a momentary holding of the breath as the Nationals' trainer and pitching coach jogged to the mound to check on their ace.
In the end, there was nothing for everyone to be worried about. The fourth-inning comebacker caught Strasburg on the fleshy pad of his left thumb, not on a less-protected part of his hand, wrist or forearm. And after a couple minutes spent getting the feeling back in the hand and then throwing a couple of warm-up tosses, Strasburg was back to his old self, striking out a pair of Tigers to end the inning and continue his Grapefruit League start unabated.
"It's fine," the right-hander insisted afterward. "It just kind of numbed up a little bit out there. It's a little tender, but nothing crazy."
The Nationals haven't had any real serious injury scares this spring, one of many reasons why this team feels like it's well-positioned to storm out of the gates strong when the season opens in 10 days.Read more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Report: Braves continue makeover, trade star OF Justin Upton
- Drew Storen goes 1-on-1 with Mark Zuckerman at NatsFest
- Winter Classic rink construction well underway at Nats Park
- Nats recall NLDS, watching Giants win World Series
- 'Baseball in the District' - Kurkjian, Zuckerman & Corcoran talk Nats
- How the Nats' trade impacts Desmond's future
- Nats trade Souza in 3-team deal, get Turner from Padres
- Report: Mets may not pitch Harvey vs. Nats on Opening Day
- Souza's name crops up in complex trade talks
- Clippard: 'I hope we all stay together for at least one more shot'