Blog Entry

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

Posted on: June 27, 2011 8:50 pm
By Evan Brunell

StrasburgStephen Strasburg threw 20 fastballs in a bullpen session on Monday, the first time Washington let Strasburg "let it go," he said according to

"Today was the first day they allowed me to let it go, and that's the hard thing about Tommy John rehab," Strasburg said. "You can feel great, but you don't really know what's going on inside there. You have to listen to the people that have gone through this before. I'm following it to a T. I'm not going to do anything stupid that's going to jeopardize the rest of my career."

Strasburg topped out around 80 mph by the estimation of the reporter in attendance, who also noted that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft had the same "audible hiss" that his fastball usually has, although he was lacking in command. That's a common occurence for players recovering from Tommy John surgery, and will continue to be for a while.

While Strasburg has to watch from the sidelines as the Nationals continue their surprising run of a .500 record and would love to be part of it, he admits that he's grown up both physically and mentally while being sidelined. That's helped him cope with the daily grind of being separated from the team and taking things one step at a time.

"I've learned how to be more of a professional," Strasburg said. "You hear all these things about how hard Roy Halladay works -- going to the field early, using his program and having it be so structured, he knows what he has to do every single day. I hope one day people look at me like that. I want to be that guy that is known for being the hardest worker -- not necessarily the best player, but the hardest worker. ... I've put a lot more emphasis on it. Just physically, I've matured a lot. I think I still have a ways to go."

The pitching phenom also opined on Davey Johnson, Washington's new manager. While Strasburg may never get the chance to play for Johnson, the hire received a strong endorsement from Strasburg:
I just remember how he treated me like one of the other guys, where I really didn't feel like one of the other guys. I was the only college kid on that [Olympic] team, and I think he really made a point to make me feel comfortable out there. That was a big jump for me. I'd never started before, and I threw 97 innings in college, and I was right around 55 for the summer. I went out to pitch against Cuba in the last game, and I threw a ton of pitches. I think we were winning 3-2 and he takes me out in the fourth. I just remember him saying, 'You've got a long career ahead of you, and there's no reason to risk it out here.' That was the game to get to the gold medal game. Even in that sense, when he had no ties to me, he was really looking out for my best interests. I thank him for that, and I'm really looking forward to playing for him.
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Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:50 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:28 pm

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:24 pm

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

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Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:25 pm

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

It looks like the Nationals really do not want Strasburg to have a long and successful career. They prefer that he have a short and disappointing one. What are the Nationals doing by letting Strasburg pitch right now? He should be resting at least until September and ideally until December 2011. There is no rush to get him back to the Nationals since they won't be in contention this year or next. Strasburg needs to develop a strong foundation...where his body has fully healed. To have him sustain unncessary injuries all because he was rushed doesn't make any sense at all. Lest we forget that the guy is still young. He is only 22. Mark my words...Stephen Stasburg will flame out and retire by age 25 if the Nationals continue to mishandle him.

Since: Jun 1, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:06 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

Im not sure how you consider a pitcher who is 5-6 with a 3:1 K:BB ratio making a run at an all-star berth, but his era looks pretty good and he will be a stud going forward in his career.  The future looks bright in Washington if they can find some more consistent hitters.  I think the most important thing for Strasburg is to get an opportunity in the Arizona Fall League, or even winter ball to throw a few games before making the jump into a regular season.  His big-league experience is still very limited, and I think the timing works out well to give him more experience against some other top prospects prior to heading into spring training. 

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 8:34 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

The Tommy John recovery routine has become pretty well established at this point and Strasburg is right on pace with the normal timetable, so they are not rushing him back to the mound.  I suspect he won't face live hitters until perhaps the Arizona Fall league, though he could make it back in September.  At some point he needs to find out what he has.  Once the allotted healing time has passed, waiting another six months is just delaying the inevitable if for some reason the surgery did not repair the damage.  The list of guys who have fully recovered from this procedure is much longer than the ones who have not (including Strasburg's teammate Jordan Zimmermann who is making a run at an All-Star berth one year removed from TJ surgery), so there is reason for optimism.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 8:26 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

I saw him at Spring Training this Spring and he was one of a few Nats players who did stop to give autographs (despite knowing he was going to get mobbed), so perhaps with maturity, and maybe the humbling experience of realizing how quickly it can all disappear, he has gained some perspective.

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:03 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

All I remember about this kid was when he was playing college ball for San Diego St. and he came to pitch in Albuquerque...there were a ton of kids all trying to get an autograph and this guy walks by them like they're not even there, didn't even look at them.  That one act sealed my perception of him.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:22 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

So what's his time table for a return to the Nationals?

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:52 am

Strasburg 'lets go' in bullpen session

I know these teams and trainers know better than I do but if I am the GM of the Nationals I wouldn't let him near a mound until the off season.  He isn't going to help the team win this year, what is the harm in taking it super slow, especially if he can come back in 2012 anywhere near how he looked as a rookie before the injury.  I would protect my investment and even err way more on the cautious side but that's just me seeing how injuries ruin guys, you know the names, Mark Prior, Rich Harden and so on, and not saying the injuries are similar but look at Wong, he has been out almost 2 full years, protect that investment!

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