Saturday, March 20, 2010

Strasburg, Storen sent to Harrisburg

VIERA, Fla. -- Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen have both been sent to minor-league camp and each will open the season at Class AA Harrisburg.

The fellow first-round picks were informed this morning. Strasburg, who is already on the 40-man roster and has a major-league contract, was optioned to Harrisburg. Storen, who was a non-roster invitee to spring training, was re-assigned to minor-league camp.

UPDATE AT 10:26 A.M. -- Also sent down this morning: Matt Chico (optioned to Class AAA Syracuse), Jamie Burke and Doug Slaten (both re-assigned to minor-league camp).

UPDATE AT 10:43 A.M. -- Strasburg on the decision: "It's all good. I'm going to go down to Harrisburg and learn what I need to learn and hopefully get called up soon."

UPDATE AT 10:48 A.M. -- Strasburg, on the factors involved in this decision: "I wasn't really shocked. I was trying to just go up here and do my thing and not really worry about what happens. Because it's a business now. It's completely out of my control. There's no point worrying about it. I was focusing on baseball. I'm still going to focus on baseball. They have a plan for me. It doesn't matter what I think or how I feel. They're going to stick to their plan, and I'm going to do what they tell me to do."

UPDATE AT 10:51 A.M. -- Storen, asked if there's any disappointment in getting sent down: "Yeah, that was my goal, to make the team out of camp. But in the bigger picture, I understand. I want to make a career in the big leagues. And going and developing and becoming polished in the minor leagues to get my shot in the big leagues is part of the plan. That's fine."

UPDATE AT 10:54 A.M. -- Storen, on being paired up with Strasburg at Harrisburg: "It's kind of more just me following him around [laughing]. Nah, it's good being with him. I think we're kind of similar situations. Obviously, he's got a lot more talent than I do. But it will be fun being with him. We both look at the big picture, and we see it as a career. I want to be there now, but I understand there's a process to it."

UPDATE AT 10:57 A.M. -- General manager Mike Rizzo, on both the Strasburg and Storen decisions: "Being consistent with our player development plan, we feel they need seasoning down in the minor leagues. It was for the benefit of their development, they need time to refine their tremendous skills. Both conversations went well. Both players are obviously competitors who are disappointed they didn't make the club but understood the rationale behind it."

UPDATE AT 11:00 A.M. -- Rizzo, on why both players are being sent to Class AA: "We kind of want to keep that group together. I like that group together. They're comfortable with each other. Where you start's not important. It's where you finish."

UPDATE AT 11:05 A.M. -- Rizzo, asked if there was any thought to putting Strasburg in the majors on Opening Day: "You know, you've heard me make this speech since we got the first pick in the draft last year and we started talking about Strasburg. I'm just not a believer that a player can come from amateur baseball and step right into the major leagues. I've seen terrific prospects attempt it, and the failure rate is just too great. This is a prized asset. Both he and Drew are prize assets. We have to do what's best for the player and the organization long-term. I think the best way to do it is to give him some seasoning in the minor leagues and then step onto the biggest stage, the best baseball league in the world and get after it. The goal is: When they get up here, they never go back."

UPDATE AT 11:14 A.M. -- Manager Jim Riggleman, on Matt Chico: "I think he's real close. I think there's good days ahead for Matt. I think he's going to be a real asset for us."

UPDATE AT 11:17 A.M. -- Chico, on his demotion: "To be honest with you, all of us want to make the 25-man roster. But I feel like I had probably the longest shot out of anyone. Just because of the history and not being [in the majors] for a year and a half and not really pitching for a while. The only thing I could do, I wanted to do, was come in and show that I'm healthy and show that I can throw some pitches a little better than I was before. I feel like I did that."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Darn, there was speculation Strasburg would first go to Potomac, which in theory, is warmer than Harrisburg in April. I was hoping to see him pitch there before he came up.

natscan reduxit said...

... AA is not a bad thing. This kid'll face a whole passel of AB's before he gets to select which cap to wear at his HoF induction.

Go Nats!!

Andrew said...

Another surprise twist! Darn. I was ready for April 8th in Potomac!

Anonymous said...

I understand the Strasburg decision, baseball and businesswise however I do not agree with the Storen decision especially at this point in spring training. Storen came right out of the draft signed below slot and pitched very effectively in the minors with a total of 28 starts. In Harrisburg he pitched in 10 games with 9 saves a WHIP of .730 and ERA of 0 In fact he pitched better as his competition got better which is exactly what you want to see. I’m not saying that he should be given a spot in the bullpen but he should have had an equal chance of earning one. Additionally, as a reliever in the majors he can be put into situation that he can succeed in greatly advancing his development. He should not be put in the position of closer this year except maybe in September but if he earns the right to the “show” it not only help him it sends a message to future draft pick to sign early.

Bill C-H said...

Right move for both - June will be great!

peric said...

They want to push that arbitration year back with Storen as well. Be interesting to see how the rosters in the minors all thresh out.

peric said...

Thompson, Strasburg, Storen in Harrisburg. All three could end up back with the club in June.

UnkleWheez said...

I am sad, but it is the right move. Well not sad. I am happy our team showed patience. This will be good for the future of our farm system.

Anonymous said...

Lets just move opening day to June and say April and May never happened. JT in SC

peric said...

The next question is: who else ends up in Harrisburg with them? It looks now like Syracuse will be the home of the older "AAAA" types as many here refer to them. I guess Chico and Arneson fall into that category. Balester is getting close. If they send Martis down does he also go to Syracuse or does he go to Harrisburg with the prized prospects? That's also where the Michael Burgess and Espinosa are likely to be.

Anonymous said...

Do pitchers bat in Double-A?

-longerterm?

Anonymous said...

The jump from AA to the show is very common. Many organizations use AAA as a fall back for guys who are having a hard time adjusting to the majors. Getiing more AB's, getting additional innings, getting their mechanics right, getting their head on straigt, etc...
Plenty of players have made the jump sucessfully so I wouldn't be surprised if any of the Harrisburg players do the same if need be.....also...AA pitchers do bat when playing at an NL park...they do not bat at an AL park.

HabsProf said...

I am a professor in the Cal. State U. system. One of my current students is a pitcher and knows guys on Strasburg's old team (also a CSU school). He tells me that apparently, right to the end of school, Strasburg attended all of his classes. Every flippin' one. I can tell you that many players in his position heading into the draft just blow off all their courses.

This is just one more thing that confirms all we've heard about him: he is NOT a prima donna. He is prepared to work and understands the idea of development. I'm not surprised to hear that he has taken his AA assignment in stride.

Dave said...

Anonymous @ 12:39 PM: "The jump from AA to the show is very common."

Cf. one Ryan Zimmerman, 2005.

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