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Strasburg might skip future All-Star games

  • Washington Nationals pitchers Stephen Strasburg (left) and Sean Doolittle take their picture with fans during the Winter Fest celebration at Washington Convention Center in Washington on Saturday. AP

  • Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer speaks with the media during the Winter Fest celebration with fans at Washington Convention Center in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez sign autographs to children during the Winter Fest celebration with fans at Washington Convention Center in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer speaks with the media during the Winter Fest celebration with fans at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • The Presidential character mascots of the Washington Nationals baseball team, from left, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln take pictures with children during the Winter Fest celebration with fans at Washington Convention Center in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana



Associated Press
Monday, December 18, 2017

WASHINGTON – Stephen Strasburg is not so sure he wants to be an All-Star ever again.

The Washington Nationals right-hander said Sunday he is sure a change in routine for that event last season contributed to an arm injury that landed him on the disabled list, so he might just skip future Midsummer Classics.

The Nationals are hosting the 2018 edition.

“I mean, I think I felt like, at the All-Star break, it was a tough situation. Might have to rethink about if I’m going to actually pitch or not pitch in an All-Star Game – whether I’ll actually go altogether,” Strasburg said at the team’s annual fan festival. “That was the issue I felt like was the reason why I got hurt.”

His 2017 invitation to Miami was his third career All-Star selection. He didn’t appear in the game, but he still was thrown off, Strasburg said, and he left his second start following the break after only two innings.

He went on the DL for a little more than three weeks with a nerve issue in his pitching elbow.

“You’re asked to throw, potentially pitch – maybe not – but not have any access or ability to really stick to your routine. Once that’s over, it’s like right back into it: bullpen, day off, game,” Strasburg said. “I just know that little lapse, for whatever reason, it pushed me back a bit. It started making my arm hurt. My arm felt good before that, then it was, like, after that, it just didn’t feel right.”

He wound up going 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA in 2017, finishing third in voting for the NL Cy Young Award.

In Washington’s NL Division Series loss to the Chicago Cubs, Strasburg was 1-1 and allowed zero earned runs in 14 innings. That included his Game 4 gem, when he struck out 12 in seven innings of a 5-0 victory.

Last February, Strasburg entered spring training having come off a right arm problem at the end of 2016. Scherzer, meanwhile, was dealing with a stress fracture in a knuckle on his pitching hand.

Both are now healthy.

“I’ve always said that in the offseason, when you’re preparing for spring training as opposed to rehabbing to get to spring training, it’s a big difference,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Those are just two positives – that they’re both healthy and preparing for spring training and getting ready for the long season.”