Posted on: June 9, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 11:55 pm

More D.C. debuts

A day after the Nationals' top prospect debuted, the Pirates rolled out their top pitching prospect on Wednesday at Nationals Park.

Brad Lincoln won't exactly be garnering headlines across the country, going six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three and gave up a homer to Adam Dunn in the first inning.

Another Pirate prospect, outfielder Jose Tabata batted leadoff and was 2 for 4 with a walk and a run. Tabata left the game with a cramp in his right hamstring and was taken out as a precautionary measure.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 3:16 pm

Nats' plan could end Strasburg's season early

Nationals fans should enjoy Stephen Strasburg while they can -- it looks like his season is going to be a short one.

According to a Twitter post by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Washington manager Jim Riggleman said on the radio today that Strasburg will pitch every five days, not every five games. The Nationals will juggle the rotation around off days to keep their young star on regular rest.

Back in spring training, Riggleman told Kilgore that the Nationals' strict policy to protect young pitchers is that nobody will be allowed to pitch more than 120 percent of the innings they threw the previous year, no matter where those innings were pitched. Kilgore calculated then that between his college season, the Arizona Fall League and the Instructional League, Strasburg logged about 132 innings last season, which would make his maximum this season 158.

After seeing today's news, I sat down with a calendar. Strasburg burned 55 1/3 innings in the minors before being called up and seven more in his debut. That leaves him with about 96 more innings to pitch this year. If he were to pitch seven innings every time he started (he won't, but let's just take a best-case scenario -- or maybe a worst-case scenario, depending on your perspective), that's 12 more starts.

In that case, Strasburg would run out of innings Aug. 7, nearly two months before the end of the season.

If Strasburg is filling seats and keeping fans' attention on the Nationals, there will surely be a lot of pressure on the team not to shelve their main attraction. Riggleman managed the Cubs during Kerry Wood's rookie year, and has always felt guilty that he might have overworked Wood and caused the arm problems that derailed his career (it should be noted that Wood has said he does not blame Riggleman).

Could be a tough call for the Nationals, but you have to think their top priority will be protecting their investment long-term.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2010 2:18 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 2:28 pm

Pirates' Lincoln to debut tonight

There is going to be another big pitching debut at Nationals Park tonight, this time with the spotlight on the visitors.

The day after Stephen Strasburg's much-hyped first start, the Pirates called up former first round pick Brad Lincoln and plan to start him against the Nationals tonight. The right-hander (who bats lefty) was the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft out of the University of Houston.

Lincoln, 25, was 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA for Triple-A Indianapolis, and his promotion was just a matter of time. His turn in the rotation in Indianapolis was supposed to be Tuesday, and for a while it looked like he would be pitted against Strasburg, but the Pirates elected to avoid a situation in which their prospect would have been an afterthought. (The Pirates, of course, deny that was the reason, but who could blame them?)

The Pirates' rotation can certainly use a boost -- Pittsburgh's starters have a collective 5.77 ERA, worst in the majors by more than half a run.

The Pirates are also expected to promote outfielder Jose Tabata. They cleared two roster spots after Tuesday night's game by optioning first baseman Jeff Clement to Triple-A and designating reliever Jack Taschner for assignment.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Tabata promotion now official

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 1:52 pm

Cleveland to get Strasburg bump

The Nationals confirmed this morning that Stephen Strasburg will indeed make his second career start on Sunday in Cleveland.

The Indians report that tickets are moving fast for the game -- they sold 1,000 between midnight and noon Wednesday, and about 19,000 total have been sold for the game. Nobody could use the boost more than the Indians, who are dead last in major league attendance at 15,527 per game.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2010 1:01 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am

The Kids Are Alright

How about the rookies of the National League East?

• There was some guy in Washington who did something.

• The Mets' Ike Davis hit a walk-off against the Padres.

• Florida's Mike Stanton was 3 for 5 with two runs in his debut.

Jason Heyward started the day by moving into second in All-Star fan voting for National League outfielders, then went 2 for 5 and picked up his 40th RBI of the season in a Braves victory.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 9, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am

Another debut in D.C.

After watching rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg beat them, the Pirates made way for their own top pitching prospect, Brad Lincoln. After Tuesday's game against the Nationals, the Pirates optioned first baseman Jeff Clement to Triple-A Indianapolis and reliever Jack Taschner was designated for assignment.

With the two roster spots, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempful speculates the Pirates could bring up another one of their top prospects, outfielder Jose Tabata. Tabata is hitting .309 with eight home runs and 18 RBI and 23 stolen bases for Indianapolis.

Lincoln was the No. 4 pick in the 2006 MLB Draft out of the University of Houston. Lincoln had Tommy John surgery in 2007. This season, he's gone 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts for Indianapolis.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 8, 2010 8:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am

Strasburg lives up to the hype

Although it seemed like nothing short of the season's third* perfect game would be a disappointment, Stephen Strasburg seemingly lived up to the hype. The two runs by the Pirates may have proved he was human, but the rest of the night made it seem debatable.

Strasburg struck out 14 batters in seven innings, including the final seven batters he faced and eight of the last nine batters he faced. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning. He struck out every batter in the Pirates' lineup.

Strasburg's final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 14 Ks, 1 HR and an ERA of 2.57.

Strasburg's 94th and final pitch of the night was a 98.5 fastball to Andy LaRoche that followed two curveballs to start the at-bat.

In his seven innings, Strasburg hit 100 mph on the radar gun and showed off his curveball, as well. Only his changeup wasn't displayed much or as sharp as advertised, but it didn't matter.

Although the Pirates are 23-34 this season, Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants is the only other starter to strike out 11 Pirates in a game this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am

Strasburg will get a seventh

Despite throwing 81 pitches in his first six innings, Stephen Strasburg will get a seventh inning.

Thanks to Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham, he's also in line for the win. Dunn and Willingham went back-to-back to give the Nationals a 4-2 lead.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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