Strasburg progressing, but no firm timetable

Strasburg progressing, but no firm timetable

CHICAGO -- When Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow nerve impingement on July 27, Nationals manager Dusty Baker hoped the right-hander would miss one start at the most due to precautionary reasons. But nine days later, the Nats still don't have a solid update on when Strasburg is planning to return.

Before the Nationals' game vs. the Cubs on Saturday afternoon, a Nats spokesperson said Strasburg is "continuing to progress in his throwing program." Baker said he isn't sure if the pitcher will partake in a rehab assignment before returning.

Strasburg walked out of the clubhouse Saturday morning in full uniform, appearing to be preparing for a workout.

Erick Fedde and A.J. Cole have served as rotation replacements with Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez all missing a scheduled start. Joe Ross, who was the team's No. 5 starter, underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-July.

Strasburg has pitched in just one postseason game due to injuries, while the Nats have gone to the playoffs in three of the past six seasons. So with Washington holding a significant lead over the Marlins in the National League East, Baker has said he's focused on keeping Strasburg healthy for October instead of rushing him back.

Worth noting
• As expected, the Nationals placed Gonzalez on the paternity list Saturday morning with his wife expecting a baby. Fedde was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse in his place to start Sunday afternoon vs. the Cubs.

Fedde, the Nats' No. 3 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, allowed seven runs over four innings in his Major League debut last Sunday, and he will hope to improve on finishing batters off after throwing two strikes.

Fedde's first MLB strikeout

• Baker said Enny Romero will see the Nationals' doctors when the team returns to Washington next week to determine how long he'll be sidelined. The left-hander was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday with a left forearm strain he sustained Wednesday.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.