Nationals Place Stephen Strasburg on DL with Lat Injury

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 5, 2013

Six days after suffering a Grade 1 lat strain and leaving his start after two innings, stud pitcher Stephen Strasburg is headed to the disabled list. 

According to CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman, the Washington Nationals made the decision official on Wednesday afternoon:

According to MASNsports' Dan Kolko, Strasburg is eligible to come off DL on June 15:

Strasburg was set to make his first bullpen session since suffering the injury, but there was reportedly still tenderness, according to the Washington Times' Amanda Comak, so that never happened.

In his stead, the Nationals will need a spot starter for Saturday's contest against the Minnesota Twins. According to Comak, the replacement will come from the minors:

This serves as the most recent blow for the 29-29 Nationals, who currently have Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa on the DL, and just got Jayson Werth back after a month sidelined. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman also made a stint on the disabled list in late April.    

Currently, Strasburg is just 3-5, but that doesn't come close to explaining his value. 

In 12 starts this season, the 24-year-old has a 2.54 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 73 strikeouts in 74.1 innings. In 57 career starts, he has a 2.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. 

If there's a silver lining, Nationals fans can rest easy knowing that this injury has nothing to do with their ace's arm.

Strasburg is one of the most talented young starters in the league, but the Nationals, who famously shut him down last year despite being in contention for a World Series title, are being extremely cautious with him. 

But because this injury isn't serious, there's a good chance Strasburg will be able to return as soon as he's eligible.