The Washington Nationals officially activated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list before his scheduled start Friday evening against the Atlanta Braves.
Manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Tuesday that Strasburg, who last pitched June 8 and is returning from right shoulder inflammation, would start the second-half opener on Friday.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was also activated, from the 60-day DL, after he had been out since May 9 with a right oblique strain. Zimmerman was not in the starting lineup Friday, as Matt Adams got the nod at first base.
The moves are a big boost for the Nationals, who ended the first half 48-48, 5 1/2 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.
“It starts Friday,” Martinez said on Tuesday. “Friday, we’re going to come out and start playing like our hair’s on fire. Let’s really make a run at this thing.”
Strasburg, who is making his return on his 30th birthday, was 6-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts before hitting the DL. He made two rehab starts for Class-A Potomac, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits and striking out 12 in nine innings.
Zimmerman, 33, is hitting .217 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 33 games this year, after enjoying a resurgent 36-homer campaign last season. He had four hits, including a home run, in nine at-bats between rehab games with Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
In a corresponding move, the Nationals optioned right-handed reliever Wander Suero to Triple-A Syracuse. Washington optioned right-hander Trevor Gott to Syracuse on Sunday and had not filled the roster spot until Friday.
—Field Level Media