Nationals Place Stephen Strasburg on DL

The Washington Nationals placed starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with neck stiffness. He left Friday’s start against the Cincinnati Reds with the injury after only 16 pitches.

Strasburg was sent back to Washington D.C. to be examined by team doctors.

“We’ve got to get the bottom of what’s going on,” Nationals manager Matt Williams told ESPN. “It’s perplexing because it’s not anything you can point to.

“So we’ll get this thing worked out and hopefully he’ll be back in 15 days.”

The 26-year-old pitcher is struggling this season. In 10 starts, he is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP in 45.1 innings pitched. He also has 45 strikeouts.

Starsburg suffered an ankle injury in spring training. The Nationals hope to find out if the pitcher changed anything in his routine or mechanics because of it.

“Something’s causing him discomfort in his upper back,” Williams said. “The fact that it switched sides wouldn’t point to anything structural. We’ve got to get it figured out.

“He’s never had an issue with his arm. It hasn’t been his elbow or his shoulder or anything like that. It’s something to do with his back and his alignment. It could be from his ankle (injury) and the adjustment he’s made from where he’s landing and having to throw across his body more. We’ve looked at all of that.”

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