Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League championship game after injuring his knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice Thursday. He was scheduled to start. I was at another game at the time, but the word I got from someone who was there is that his knee twisted and locked up when he bent to retrieve a ball. The press release from the Washington Nationals indicated it wasn't serious and that it was just inflammation, but they are also reportedly going to conduct further tests. MLB Network was scheduled to televise two games from the AFL this year, the Rising Stars Game on Nov. 7 and Saturday's title tilt ... and Strasburg got scratched from both of them. They must be very happy right now. • When I did my pitcher wrap-up, I focused more on players who were starters or seen as potential closers. However, I was asked to give my thoughts on a few pitchers who didn't necessarily fit that description: Pittsburgh Pirates lefty Donnie Veal pitched well down here and generated some buzz. I think I was part of that, as I sent some tweets that Veal looked as good as I had ever seen him (which is not as big a compliment as it might appear) and others picked up on it. I've seen a lot of him since instructional league in 2006, and every single time he had no clue how to throw consistent strikes. However, his delivery looked a little cleaner, and he had better fastball command and an improved changeup. Still, I saw him be so bad for so long, it's hard for me to get that excited about it. I'm trying not to be too rigid and recognize some of the changes in his game, but I just don't trust him as anything beyond a situational lefty at this point. Progress has been made, though.
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