Since winning the World Series MVP for the Washington Nationals in 2019, Stephen Strasburg has appeared in only eight games and pitched only 31.1 innings. Strasburg underwent surgery for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021, pitched in one game in 2022 and quickly returned to the injured list. Now, he’s not sure when — or even if — he’ll be back.
Injuries have been a part of Strasburg’s career. In the past, though, he said that he’s gone through his rehab assignments confident that he’d be better than ever. But recently, Strasburg, who’s now 34, was quoted by Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post expressing doubt about his return, especially when considering the severity of the injury and his age.
“Every time I’ve had an injury, I felt like I was going to be the best there is coming back…This is the one that’s still definitely a big question mark,” Strasburg said, per Dougherty. “I realize the clock is ticking. It’s been almost three years since I’ve been able to pitch competitively, and it’s not like I’m getting younger.”
The MLB world was sympathetic to the former World Series MVP and three-time National League All-Star.
Stephen Strasburg has never been too willing to give fans/reporters a glimpse into his life off the field, but I’m glad he did here so that people can see his current struggle. The man who helped the Nats win a WS title badly wants to pitch, his body just isn’t allowing him to. https://t.co/1DmfQ0Dq1T
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 16, 2022
This is a very sad? moving? fascinating? story about one of this generation’s best. https://t.co/RaTu3o9y5o
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) September 16, 2022
not an easy read but greatly appreciate the insight from Jesse and Strasburg opening up about what has obviously been a difficult time. hoping the best for him whether that’s on the mound or not https://t.co/40SgfHZuPp
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 16, 2022
well, this is depressing as hell https://t.co/SNn81oA3jn
— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) September 16, 2022
— Frank Hanrahan (@JFrankHanrahan) September 16, 2022
— Jummy Olabanji (@JummyNBC) September 16, 2022
When healthy, Strasburg has consistently been one of baseball’s best pitchers since he made his MLB debut in 2010. In his last full season, he posted an 18-6 record with a 3.32 ERA, 1.038 WHIP, and struck out a career-high 251 strikeouts in 209 innings while helping the Nationals reach the playoffs and win the World Series in 2019.
Strasburg also remains under contract with Washington through the 2026 season and will make $35 million annually.
[The Washington Post, Jesse Dougherty]