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Nats GM: Stephen Strasburg "unlikely" for NLDS

WASHINGTON - Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo doesn't expect to have Stephen Strasburg back on the mound for the beginning of the playoffs.

"It's unlikely that he'd contribute in that first series," said Rizzo, whose team clinched the National League East title this past weekend and will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS starting next Friday.

Rizzo said that Strasburg, who's been on the disabled list since September 7th with a strained flexor mass in his right arm, played catch at a distance of 90 feet on flat ground today.

"We'll see how he feels afterwards," said the Nats GM. "I think [the NLDS] would be kind of pushing it."

If Strasburg doesn't take part in the division series, it won't be the first time he's missed playoff action. In 2012, when the Nationals won their first division title, they played the postseason without Strasburg, whom the team shut down in early September due to concerns about his health in the wake of his 2010 Tommy John surgery.

A former top overall pick in 2009, Strasburg did participate in Washington's second postseason appearance in 2014, taking the loss in game one of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. This season, Strasburg was 15-4 with a 3.60 ERA, and was named an All-Star for the second time following a first half in which he went 12-0 with a 2.62 ERA.

Strasburg isn't the only Washington All-Star dealing with health issues. On Tuesday, the Nationals announced that catcher Wilson Ramos suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season. Outfielder Bryce Harper, whose X-rays on his injured thumb came back negative, is not in the lineup for the second straight day, and second baseman Daniel Murphy (strained left buttocks) is out for the fifth consecutive game.

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