Starting with some Strasburg

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, a High&Inside fave, has thrown off a bullpen mound as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Washington manager Jim Riggleman said Strasburg was expected to throw at about 50 percent Monday in Viera, Fla. Strasburg had been throwing off flat ground.

The overall No. 1 pick from the 2009 draft seemed excited about his return. He posted on Twitter: "First bullpen in the books. Felt great! Hopefully time will speed up now!"

The 22-year-old pitching phenom had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow Sept. 3.

Giants fan's family thanks LAPD

The day after Los Angeles police arrested a man suspected in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, Stow's family members expressed appreciation for the Los Angeles Police Department's work on the case.

"We never gave up hope that this day would come; that the beginning of justice being served would happen," Stow's sister, Erin Collins, said outside San Francisco General Hospital, where her brother remains hospitalized. "Our family would like to express our deep gratitude to the LAPD for their exhaustive efforts."

After two months chasing hundreds of leads in the high-profile case, LAPD officers arrested 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez following an early-morning operation at the East Hollywood apartment building where Ramirez had been living recently. Police believe the documented gang member is one of two men who attacked Stow, 42, in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on March 31.

Leave those umps alone

Nats GM Mike Rizzo and catcher Ivan Rodriguez were penalized by MLB for verbally confronting umpires in a stadium tunnel after a disputed call last week. The Nationals were upset after Jayson Werth was called out by first base umpire Phil Cuzzi in the ninth inning of Thursday's 1-0 loss to the New York Mets. Replays appeared to show Werth was safe.

Slump will get you demoted in San Diego

The Padres demoted slumping leadoff hitter Will Venable to triple-A Tucson. Phillies sluggers, take note: Venable was hitting .224.   

Contact staff writer Sandy Spieczny at sspieczny@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.