MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

If Nats advance to NLCS, Stras would not pitch

If Nats advance to NLCS, Stras would not pitch

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced that right-hander Stephen Strasburg would not play in the National League Championship Series if the Nationals get that far.

Strasburg ended his bullpen session prematurely on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles due to discomfort in his right elbow.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 7 LAD 4, WAS 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 9 WSH 5, LAD 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 WAS 8, LAD 3 video
Gm 4 Oct. 11 LAD 6, WAS 5 video
Gm 5 Oct. 13 LAD 4, WSH 3 video

"We know he's not going to be ready for the next series," Baker said. "You know, he's progressing as well as we'd like. It's never as fast as you'd like. But again, he won't be available for the next series. It would be a miracle if he was."

General manager Mike Rizzo said he looked at the calendar, and the math didn't work out for Strasburg's return in the next round. Rizzo said Strasburg is not stretched out or prepared to play in the NLCS.

Strasburg had a bullpen session on Thursday, but Rizzo said the team would not rush him to get back on the mound.

"He is on his return-to-throw program, and he is following the protocol that our doctors and our trainers gave him," Rizzo said.

Strasburg strained the flexor mass in his right arm against the Braves on Sept. 7. There was hope last week -- when he had his first bullpen session in more than a month -- that Strasburg could return for the NLCS.

Before the injury, Strasburg, 28, went 15-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 24 starts for the Nationals during the regular season. He signed a seven-year, $175 million contract extension with Washington in May.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.