Washington Nationals rookie pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg is done for the season - and maybe next season as well - after the team announced Friday that he has a torn ligament in his right elbow.
He will travel to the West Coast today for a second opinion, but the 22-year-old right-hander has accepted the fact that he will need Tommy John surgery, the ligament-replacement operation that requires 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.
It’s a punch to the gut of a Nationals franchise that had made him the centerpiece of their plans to climb out of perpetual last-place irrelevancy.
“There’s no words that I can put in place here that would indicate we could possibly replace Stephen,” manager Jim Riggleman said.
Strasburg grimaced, grabbed and shook his wrist after throwing a 1-1 change-up to Domonic Brown in Philadelphia last Saturday. It turned out to be his last pitch of the year. The Nationals initially called the injury a strained flexor tendon in the forearm, but an extensive MRI in which dye was injected into his prized right arm led to the diagnosis of a torn ligament.
WHITE SOX AWARDED CLAIM ON RAMIREZ
Manny Ramirez was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Chicago White Sox have been awarded the claim that gives them exclusive bargaining rights for the slugger.
The White Sox and Dodgers have until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to complete a trade, which Ramirez would have to approve. The Dodgers also could let him go – with his consent – in which case the White Sox would simply assume his salary. Or, Los Angeles could keep him.
Ramirez, 38, has a full no-trade clause that would allow him to veto a trade or waiver claim.
Major League Baseball rules prevented either team from commenting.
AROUND THE HORN
Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo and clubhouse attendant Alex Sanchez were robbed at gunpoint early Friday, hours after Milwaukee’s ace pitched in a loss to the Dodgers. Milwaukee police were investigating but didn’t have a suspect. … The Twins made their revamped bullpen more versatile for the pennant race by acquiring left-handed reliever and four-time All-Star Brian Fuentes from the Angels for a player to be named. … Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, from Pasco, has been scratched from today’s start against the Blue Jays because of a sore muscle in his right side. … Reds rookie right-hander Mike Leake went on the 15-day disabled list with a tired pitching shoulder but is expected to return this season.