Tag:Stephen Strasburg
Posted on: August 7, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:16 am

Strasburg throws 31 pitches, gives up HR in rehab

By Brian Stubits

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Stephen Strasburg made his return to the mound in game action, throwing 31 pitches and surrendering one run on three hits, including a home run, over 1 2/3 innings for the Nationals' Class A affiliate Hagerstown Suns.

Making his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Nats phenom passed the important parts of the test: throwing strikes and feeling good afterward. Of his 31 pitches, 25 were thrown for strikes, giving the Greensboro Grasshoppers a heavy load of fastballs.

The first eight pitches were over the plate. The radar gun topped out at 97 MPH on his fastball. That ain't too shabby for a first start since surgery. Before the injury, he was routinely clocked in triple digits.

"I was super excited to get back out there," Strasburg said after the game. "I wanted to go out there and throw a lot of fastballs. That was the real foundation I wanted set and really work on the fastball command. All in all, I was pretty pleased.

"It's a great feeling when you get through the first inning. You just kind of get that itch to go back about there again in five days."

The 23-year-old right-hander hadn't faced a batter in a live game situation since grabbing his right wrist following a pitch to Dominic Brown of the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 21, 2010. Strasburg had elbow reconstructive surgery Sept. 3, ending his rookie season with a 5-3 record and a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts, including an unforgettable debut in which he struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Since then, Strasburg has meticulously worked through milestone after milestone in a long, lonely recovery. He began throwing a baseball again in February. He started throwing off a mound in May. He began pitching simulated games at the Nationals' spring training complex in Viera, Fla., last month.

He began the outing with eight straight strikes, sitting down the first two with strikeouts. He surrendered a harmless single to right field before getting out of the inning with the next batter. The second inning began with a strikeout looking with a nasty curve before he was taken out of the park to the opposite field by Jacob Realmuto of the Grasshoppers, a Marlins' affiliate.

"Well ya know what? Home runs are a part of baseball," he said. "Looking back on it, I know they were all looking for fastballs. He put a good swing on it. I'm not even going to stress about it."

Strasburg followed that up with another single then a strikeout before he was lifted from the game. He entered the contest with a two-inning limit, and/or a 35-pitch threshold.

His brief outing ended with a standing round of applause from the packed crowd at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium.

Average attendance here is 2,023. Today, 28 years to the day after Jim Palmer made a rehab start here, the place was sold out. Keep in mind this is about 75 miles north of Washington. To say the local buzz around Strasburg has dissipated over this time would be flat out false. The rest of baseball might have forgot a bit about him since being the "most hyped draft pick in history" and subsequent injury, but D.C. hasn't.

"[The anticipation] is definitely built up today," 20-year-old Hagerstown native Brad Kretzer said. "It's a sellout crowd, only standing room left. Even with Bryce Harper it didn't sell out."

The Nationals' other ballyhooed prospect, Harper, played 72 games in Hagerstown before moving on up to Double-A Harrisburg.

Here's the amazing thing about Strasburg: In just two years he has lived up to all of the expectations. Think about it. He made the majors in less than a year. Once there, he electrified Washington and baseball with his fireballs and physics-defying curveballs. You might remember there was serious debate whether or not he belonged in the All-Star Game.

He's also met the bad expectations. That would be the serious arm injuries. Unfortunately, that's why he's here, pitching in a Class A ballpark -- one of the oldest minor-league parks in the country. Many expected/feared this would happen. Nobody wanted it to happen, but thought it might.

But Tommy John doesn't carry the career death sentence it once did. It's still hard to get the stigma of the surgery away from the dreaded prognoses of yesteryear, but guys are coming back better than before these days. Just ask Josh Johnson (most recent injury troubles aside) or Chris Carpenter. Heck, the list is long. "It feels better. It honestly does. I get on top of the ball a lot better," Strasburg said. "I'm able to drive the ball down into the zone a lot better, a lot more efficiently. Before I just wasn't in as good of shape. The velo still isn't there, but it's jumping a little bit more than it did before. I'm right where I want to be physically. I'm pleased."

But perhaps this setback put him on the schedule he should have been on in the first place. Well, not starting in Class A at this point, but still growing in the minors. His ascent to the Bigs was rapid, even if he might have been ready stuff wise.

Barring any set backs (and as of now there don't appear to be any) Strasburg will make another rehab start on Friday, either for the team's affiliate in Potomac or Harrisburg.

"I think they did [rush him]," Kretzer said. "I think it's something you have to think about. He only started pitching in the major leagues last year and he got hurt right away. I think they got to take it easy on his arm. I think it's good he's only pitching two innings today."

Either way, what's done is done. Now it's time for recovery. As first steps in rehab go, this was a solid one. Don't mind the hits, pay attention to the strikes. He was buzzing the ball in the zone the whole outing, as quick as it was.

I'm sure the Nats will take the slow and steady course and D.C. will be buzzing again. In the meantime, they will have to keep Strasburg at bay, sitting back isn't something he's used to.

"Man, that was the toughest part," Strasburg said about handing the ball over after the game. "I at least wanted to go two innings, but that was as far as they would let me go."

He can't get back to the tip-top shape soon enough; for himself, for Nationals fans and for baseball fans.

Here's video of Strasburg warming up before the game in the bullpen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Posted on: August 7, 2011 1:53 pm

Strasburg's start to draw media crowd

By C. Trent Rosecrans

There will be almost as many rules as credentialed media for Sunday's Stephen Strasburg start at Class A Hagerstwon.

From the Washington Times, here's the complete 405-word missive from the Hagerstown public relations department:

Hagerstown, MD—Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg, making his first rehabilitation start with the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday at 4:05pm after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on September 3, 2010, will not be made available to credentialed media members during the pre-game.

There will be absolutely no access to the Suns home clubhouse before, during, or after the game. Due to space constraints, there will be no access to the Municipal Stadium press box without permission from the Hagerstown Suns Media Relations Department.

No photography or videography on the field is permitted during the course of the game.Media will be allowed through the gates at Municipal Stadium beginning at 1:45pm.

All media credentials can be picked up at will-call with proof of media affiliation. No one-on-one interview requests for Stephen Strasburg will be honored per the Washington Nationals.

The field must be cleared of all media members by 3:50pm in preparation of a first pitch fifteen minutes later.

Strasburg is slated to throw the first two innings against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Sunday afternoon. Once Strasburg leaves the game, he will undergo treatment for roughly 45 minutes to one hour. Following the conclusion of his post-game work, Strasburg will be made available in a group press conference in the Hagerstown Suns Press Room inside the front office.

Once Strasburg leaves the mound after the top of the 2ndinning, media members are asked to form a group next to the first base line field suite. The line should extend behind the first base general admission stands in preparation for an escort to the Strasburg Press Conference.

About 15 minutes after Strasburg exits the game, a Suns Media Relations representative will take the media into the press room to await Strasburg's arrival. All media are asked to reduce the amount of equipment brought into the press room due to limitations in the interest of accommodating every member of the media.

Stephen Strasburg will answer questions about his rehabilitation appearance for approximately ten minutes. No further media inquiries will be honored following the completion of the Strasburg press conference.

Suns players, Manager, Brian Daubach, Pitching Coach, Chris Michalak, and Hagerstown Suns staff will be made available to the media following the conclusion of the game.

Suns training staff members will not be made available for comment at any time on Sunday.

These policies are subject to change without advanced notice to credentialed members of the media.

Among those media members trying to adhere to the fine print will be CBSSports.com's Brian Stubits. Strasburg will pitch in the first game of a doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m. against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Marlins' low Class-A affiliate.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:16 pm

Strasburg Watch: Rehab start likely Sunday

By Matt Snyder

Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game Tuesday and everything went well, so he's on track to begin a minor-league rehab assignment, likely Sunday. His final hurdle is a side session Thursday. Assuming everything goes well, he'd get the start for Class-A Hagerstown Sunday -- only throwing an inning or two. He would then start in the minors August 12, 17 and 22 as part of the rehab assignment (Washington Times).

This is great news for the top overall pick in the 2009 draft, as it appears he might even return before September -- more likely early September. Remember, rehab assignments are limited to 30 days, so a Sunday start would mean he has to return by the end of the first week in September.

That timing would work well for the Nats, too, because Strasburg could get in some work toward the end of the season and head into the offseason strong. Plus, Jordan Zimmermann -- another young stud pitcher for the Nats who underwent Tommy John surgery -- is nearing the Nationals' self-imposed innings limit for the season. Strasburg could just slide right into Zimmermann's spot in the rotation. Expect the Nats to similarly handle Strasburg with kid gloves when he does return to the hill.

Strasburg, 23, hasn't pitched in a game since last August 21. He had season-ending surgery on his right elbow shortly thereafter. The usual return time for the so-dubbed Tommy John procedure is between 10 and 14 months. He's reportedly been hitting the mid-90s on the radar gun in his simulated games.

Strasburg stormed onto the scene last season, going 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. If he can return to form, he's projected to be one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball. In fact, Strasburg and Zimmermann will form one of the better 1-2 punches in baseball for years to come, if they can remain healthy.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 6:46 pm

Strasburg rehab stint coming very soon

By Matt Snyder

Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg is within seven to 10 days of making a minor-league rehab start, according to manager Davey Johnson. The ace has been throwing batting practice and simulated games. His most recent simulated game came last Thursday, when he threw about 50 pitches and was hitting 95 on the radar gun with his fastball. He will throw one more simulated game, Tuesday (Washington Times). From there, assuming there are no setbacks, the Nationals will send Strasburg to one of their minor-league affiliates and he'll start to work his way back.

Strasburg, 23, hasn't pitched in a game since last August 21. He had season-ending "Tommy John" surgery on his right elbow shortly thereafter. The usual return time for the procedure is between 10 and 14 months, so he's on the fast side to healing, but it's not too fast.

The first overall draft pick of the 2009 draft, Strasburg announced his presence with authority last season, going 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. If he can return to form and stay healthy, he's projected to be one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 3:57 pm

Strasburg throws sim game, rehab start next?

By Evan Brunell

StrasburgStephen Strasburg may be able to make a rehab start before long if he keeps progressing well.

On Thursday, Strasburg threw a three-inning simulated game in Florida, tossing 50 pitches. Strasburg "threw extremely well," Nats pitching coach Spin Williams reported to the Washington Times, adding, "I think he's getting close."

Strasburg has long said he hopes to pitch in a major-league game at some point this season, while Washington is more inclined to wait until next season. If Strasburg keeps progressing, he could force the Nationals' hand over the last two weeks in September.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 18, 2011 10:52 pm

Strasburg throws simulated game

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Stephen StrasburgNationals starter Stephen Strasburg made the next big step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, throwing a simulated game Monday in Viera, Fla.

"He's throwing good," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. "His velocity is good. He's progressing. He's mixing in all his pitches, which is good. He's right on track where he needs to be."

The Nationals have not determined when Strasburg will start throwing in a real game, but expect him to throw several more simulated games and live batting practice sessions before participating in a game. Rizzo said Strasburg is in "mid-spring training mode," and could still return to Washington in the last month of the season.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:48 pm

Bauer wins Golden Spikes Award

Trevor BauerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in last month's MLB Draft, won the Golden Spikes Award as USA Baseball's top amateur player on Friday.

The right-hander went 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA in 16 starts for UCLA this season nd also led the country with 203 strikeouts. The 203 strikeouts was a Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark set by USC's Mark Prior.

He's been compared to Tim Lincecum because of his unorthodox mechanics, but he's bigger than the Giants' ace.

Bauer was one of three finalists for the award, along with Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen. Jungmann was drafted 12th overall by the Brewres and Hultzen went second to the Mariners.

The last 10 winners of the award were Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, David Price, Lincecum, Alex Gordon, Jered Weaver, Rickie Weeks, Khalil Greene and Prior.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 9:32 am

Strasburg's manager expects him back in 2011

By Matt Snyder

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery last Aug. 27, and recovery time from the procedure is typically 12-18 months. Apparently, the Nats expect their star to fall on the low end of the spectrum, because manager Davey Johnson said on the radio Friday that he expects Strasburg back before the end of the season.

"We're optimistic he'll come back and give us a few innings this year," Johnson said (Holden Radio on Twitter).

Now, before everyone freaks out and thinks the Nationals are rushing Strasburg back, we have no evidence of this. He's obviously progressing well, and it's entirely possible for pitchers to come back just a year after the procedure. Some guys even get back a bit sooner.

We also know the Nationals are handling Jordan Zimmermann (who had Tommy John surgery himself) with kid gloves this season, so they have a track record of being careful with players returning from major surgery. While there's no hurry to get Strasburg back for this season, if he's ready to pitch, there's no reason to avoid it.

Strasburg, the top overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings as a rookie last season. He figures to be an elite starting pitcher for years if he can stay healthy and regain his form.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com