Nats promote Strasburg ahead of debut

WASHINGTON -- Before Stephen Strasburg could pitch, he needed to become a member of the team. And he needed a catcher, too.

The Washington Nationals took care of both moves about two hours before Strasburg's debut Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They officially recalled Strasburg from Triple-A Syracuse and reinstated catcher Ivan Rodriguez from the 15-day disabled list.

Rodriguez missed the previous 14 games with a lower back strain.

The Nationals also designated catcher Jamie Burke for assignment.