VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 60-day disabled list and claimed left-hander Lee Hyde off waivers from the Braves on Wednesday afternoon.
Strasburg, the Nationals' best pitcher last season, is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is now throwing 90 feet on flat ground and his arm strength is slowly returning.
Once he is healthy and ready to pitch in the Major Leagues, Strasburg wants to be the ace of Washington's staff. Before he hurt his elbow in August, Strasburg was clearly one of the best rookies in the Major Leagues. In 12 games, Strasburg was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. There is a possibility he could return to action sometime in September.
"My goal is to be the horse in this rotation," Strasburg said recently. "I want to go 200-plus innings every year, so it's something I'm working hard for. Physically, I feel I'm on the right track to get back.
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"I have to no choice [but to be patient]. I can't just wake up the next morning expecting to get on the mound. It's a slow gradual process. It's about the slow steady progress. It has to take its time and let the body heal naturally."
As for Hyde, he went a combined 4-6 with eight saves and a 3.41 ERA in 51 relief appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi. He posted all eight saves and a 2.95 ERA during a 29-appearance stint with Mississippi before a midseason promotion to Triple-A.
Hyde, 26, is 10-9 with nine saves and a 3.04 ERA in three seasons since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007. He has recorded 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings (108 K's/106 2/3 IP) since the operation.
Hyde is 12-11 with 10 saves and a 2.91 ERA in 109 games (eight starts) during five Minor League seasons.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.