2016 NLDS: Nationals Manager Dusty Baker Rules Out Stephen Strasburg For Matchup Against Dodgers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals have until Friday morning to officially set their rosters for the National League Division Series, though reading tea leaves can paint somewhat of a clear picture.

That’s particularly true for the Dodgers in terms of their outfielders, as manager Dave Roberts recently said Andre Ethier, Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles will be part of the NLDS roster.

The Nationals meanwhile are dealing with injuries to multiple key players. All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos saw his season come to an end last week due to a torn ACL, Daniel Murphy hasn’t started since Sept. 17 due to a buttocks injury, and Jayson Werth is suffering from back tightness.

What’s more, Stephen Strasburg last pitched Sept. 7, when he was removed in the third inning and later diagnosed with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow.

Strasburg’s availability for the NLDS was in question, and on Monday, Nationals manager Dusty Baker officially ruled him out, via ESPN:

“Well, you won’t see [Strasburg] in the first series, and I don’t even know if you’ll see him, you know, maybe in the second series,” Baker said on McNabb & Custer on ESPN Radio. “You might see him in the World Series.”

Strasburg began throwing late last week, but at the time Baker said he still was not expecting to see 28-year-old in the NLDS. Nor did Baker want to ask Strasburg about his status so as to avoid placing pressure on the right-hander.

Strasburg went 15-4 with a 3.60 ERA, 2.92 FIP and 1.10 WHIP this season. He began the year 13-0 before suffering a loss at home to the Dodgers on July 21.

Without Strasburg, Washington is expected to use some combination of Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez to follow Max Scherzer in the series.