Strasburg threw 52 pitches Friday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. The individual workloads of starting pitchers in their first few outings this season could wind up being quite varied due to the abbreviated summer camp and the differing situations for players during the shutdown period. Strasburg will aim for 60 to 65 pitches in his next session. It's unclear if that will leave him room to build up to a full workload by the start of the season, with Opening Day less than two weeks away, but he should still be able to handle a fair number of innings in his season debut.
Strasburg threw a bullpen session Friday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. The Nats' top three starters (Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin) all got in work Friday as the club tries to quickly ramp up before Opening Day later this month. There was no indication of how many pitches Strasburg was able to throw, however, so while GM Mike Rizzo described him as being in "full bullpen mode," how close he is to being ready for the regular season is still unclear.
Strasburg retired the first 12 batters he faced in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, finishing the outing having given up one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out four. He'd last pitched in a bullpen session last Wednesday, so Strasburg was well rested heading into this one. The right-hander has a 7:1 K:BB through 6.1 spring innings, and if he remains on a five-day schedule from here on out, he'd be set up to take the hill against the Mets on Opening Day -- perhaps a sign the Nats don't feel Max Scherzer (side) will be ready for that assignment.
Strasburg threw 53 pitches over three simulated innings in a bullpen session Wednesday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. The right-hander is staying on a five-day schedule during spring training, requiring him to toss a bullpen on the Nats' off day rather than making a Grapefruit League start a day late Thursday. If he stays on that routine, Strasburg could toss a bullpen again Monday -- another off day for the club -- before seeing game action again Mar. 14 against the Tigers.
Strasburg struck out two of the first three batters he faced Saturday in his first Grapefruit League start before running out of steam, Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports. The right-hander's final line -- three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings against the Rays -- wasn't impressive, but Strasburg tossed 35 pitches and was generally pleased with the movement on his offspeed offerings. He also believes he spotted a minor mechanical flaw in his delivery which he'll iron out between starts. Strasburg is coming off career highs in wins (18) and strikeouts (251) plus a dominant postseason performance and has a seven-year, $245 contract in his pocket, so expectations for the 31-year-old heading into 2020 may be higher than they've been since he was a mega-hyped rookie. Strasburg has matured significantly since then, however, and his ability to stay healthy could be only thing standing between him and another Cy Young-worthy campaign.
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