SHOW MORE 

Strasburg leaves start early with leg issue; 'nothing major'

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg warms up in the bullpen before a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg warms up in the bullpen before a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg left his second spring training start in the third inning Sunday because of a problem with his left calf that he called “nothing major.”

The 2019 World Series MVP, whose 2020 season was cut to just five innings because he needed carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist, said his calf “grabbed” as he stood on that leg at the end of his pitching motion.

“Just kind of more of a precautionary thing and just kind of take it day-to-day and see how it feels tomorrow,” said Strasburg, who allowed one hit, struck out four and walked one in 2 1/3 scoreless innings of Washington's 5-0 loss to the Houston Astros.

“Luckily, I feel like I’m a fast healer,” he said, "so I don’t think it would be something that could be a prolonged absence.”

Manager Dave Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard went out to the mound to check on the right-hander before he left the game.

“There was really not much of a discussion,” Martinez said. “Just wanted to pinpoint exactly what he was feeling. Other than that, he was coming out of the game. We’re in spring training. There’s no sense in pushing it.”

Strasburg said he was looked at by a team doctor and had an ultrasound exam.

He threw 45 pitches and said that before the calf became problematic, his fastball and changeup felt better than they did in his initial Grapefruit League outing five days earlier.