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Stephen Strasburg: Arm Tightness Should Greatly Concern the Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park during interleague play on May 20, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMay 21, 2012

After homering and striking out eight, Stephen Strasburg was pulled from Sunday's game after just five innings and 90 pitches.

The 6-3 Washington lead over Baltimore had no bearing on the decision, as manager Davey Johnson reportedly pulled Strasburg because of tightness in his right biceps (via Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com).

On the issue, Johnson had this to say (via Bloom):

I don't care who it was, when I find out they have a little tightness in there and they're worried about it, they're out. I'm not that concerned when I hear it's in the biceps. That's where you get some tightness sometimes, throwing a lot of pitches in an inning. It's kind [of] borderline being a little tired.

Johnson has the right mentality regarding the tightness, as any young starter with any level of discomfort in his pitching arm needs to be tended to.

Especially a starter with Strasburg's injury history.

He seems to have finally recovered from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for most of last season, and his 160-inning cap imposed by Johnson is in effect to limit the possibility of injury.

Johnson has continually said that the 160-inning mark is when Strasburg will be shut down, and there will be no skipping starts in an effort to keep him around later in the season.

Strasburg countered Johnson's statement by claiming that it's just "normal fatigue" and also said, "I was being a little immature in between, and I was throwing a lot more because I didn't like the way I pitched the last time. That's the thing I need to change. I just can't change my routine because of an outcome."

It's unlikely that Strasburg will miss his next start against Atlanta, but the severity of the discomfort is not yet known.

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