World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his season debut on Sunday for the Washington Nationals against the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
Strasburg has been sidelined with a nerve problem in his pitching hand, and has missed what would have been his first two starts of 2020. The right-hander made 33 starts in 2019, and became the first pitcher in MLB history to finish a postseason with a 5-0 record.
Washington manager Dave Martinez said Strasburg has been cleared to go.
"The tingling in his thumb is gone, and that's a good sign. We watched him and he's throwing some really good bullpens," Martinez told reporters before the Nationals' series opener against Baltimore on Friday.
"That was the big thing for me: Nothing in his mechanics has changed. Everything's good. He wants to pitch. He's ready to pitch on Sunday."
Strasburg is a 32-year old three-time All-Star, and led the National League with 209 innings and 18 wins in 2019. Strasburg is 112-58 with a 3.17 ERA over his previous 10 big league seasons.
"We're going to watch him. If he gives us 75-80 pitches, that'd be awesome," Martinez said. "But we'll keep an eye on him."
Martinez will also keep eyes on another one of his aces. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start on Wednesday, a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets, after one inning because of a right hamstring injury.
Scherzer was to test the leg by throwing on flat ground on Friday afternoon.
"I'll touch base with him and see how he feels," Martinez said. "He's going to be day-to-day."
Scherzer's next scheduled start is Tuesday at the Mets.
--Field Level Media