WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg’s relationship with the postseason always has been complicated.

Still is, in a way.

For all of his regular-season excellence since the Washington Nationals made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft – the 14-strikeout debut, the 84-45 career record, the 3.07 ERA – Strasburg has thrown all of five playoff innings for a team that has won four of the past six NL East titles.

“The talent and the way he throws the ball, and the way he knows how to pitch and the way he competes has always been one of the best,” first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of him being able to stay on the mound.”

Strasburg’s lone postseason appearance came in 2014. Otherwise, there was the infamous shutdown in 2012 and an arm injury last year. This time Strasburg is healthy. The question is when he’ll be on the mound against the Chicago Cubs: Game 1 on Friday? Or Game 2 on Saturday?

“We really haven’t decided exactly,” Manager Dusty Baker said. “We have a couple days to decide.”

The extenuating factor is Max Scherzer’s health. He tweaked his right hamstring in his final regular-season start and said while he can run and lift weights with that leg, a full throwing motion hurts. So while Strasburg tossed a bullpen session off a mound Tuesday – the sort of thing he normally would do two or three days before a start – Scherzer was limited to throwing in the outfield grass.

Scherzer plans to test his leg in a bullpen session Wednesday.

“We really haven’t determined what game we’re eyeing yet. The first and foremost thing is just making sure that whenever I do take the ball, I’m able to go out there and compete the way I’m able to compete,” Scherzer said.

Asked whether he’s certain he’ll face the Cubs, Scherzer said: “Oh, I’m pitching in the NLDS. I’m pitching in the NLDS.”

INDIANS: Instead of starting its Cy Young favorite in Game 1 of the AL division series, Cleveland will pitch Trevor Bauer on Thursday. Kluber, who has been baseball’s most dominant pitcher for months, is scheduled to start Game 2.

Manager Terry Francona said part of his decision to go with Bauer in the opener is so he can use his best pitcher – Kluber – in a potential Game 5.

BLUE JAYS: Toronto will decline its mutual option on outfielder Jose Bautista, making him a free agent.

General Manager Ross Atkins said Bautista was made aware of the team’s plans “a couple of weeks ago.”

MARLINS: Derek Jeter said he’ll help develop a winning culture as an owner with the team, emphasizing hard work, discipline and no excuses.

Jeter, a former New York Yankees star, said the turnaround won’t happen overnight. But he also said the new ownership group believes in the market and the fan base.

METS: Two days after Terry Collins stepped down as manager, the team said longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen won’t return in that role next year but was offered another job in the organization.

Bench coach Dick Scott, first- base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones will be granted permission to speak to other teams, pending the choice of a new manager.

CARDINALS: Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley won’t return to the staff next season.

Neither coach will have their contract renewed following a second straight year of missing the playoffs – the first time St. Louis has missed the postseason in back-to-back seasons since 2007-08.

ROYALS: Left-hander Danny Duffy underwent surgery to remove loose debris in his pitching elbow and is expected to resume his normal offseason training in about six weeks.

Duffy should be ready for spring training in February.

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