Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mapping out Strasburg's schedule

ST. LOUIS -- Now that Drew Storen's big-league debut is out of the way, all eyes can shift to the other guy about to debut with the Nationals. (Who would have thought the spotlight would shift off Stephen Strasburg, if only for 24 hours?)

We've been outlining in detail the Strasburg Plan for some time now, but it is becoming clearer how this all is going to play out. Yesterday, MASN announced it will televise the right-hander's next two starts with Syracuse (tonight at Rochester, tape-delayed at 11:30 p.m., and May 23 against Toledo live at 5 p.m.).

So we know Strasburg is pitching at least twice more in the minors, and he won't get an extra day of rest between the two. The key will be when and where the next start after that takes place.

Syracuse has May 26 off but has a scheduled doubleheader the following day at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If Strasburg stays on a five-day schedule, he would pitch May 28, also at S/W-B. But what if the organization wants to give him one last home start at Syracuse? By bumping him back one more day, he could start May 29, still against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but now in Syracuse.

That would then line up Strasburg to make his Nationals debut June 4 against the Reds, and also set him up to make his second big-league start June 10 against the Pirates. Both games would be at Nationals Park.

The only other realistic possibility would have Strasburg staying on a strict, five-day schedule. If he does that, he'd pitch May 28 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then June 2 at Buffalo (both road starts). All of that would set him up to debut June 8 against the Pirates.

Of the two, the first scenario sure makes a lot more sense.

Mike Rizzo, of course, isn't spilling the beans just yet.

"I know in my mind what the development plan is for him," he said yesterday when asked about the guessing game going on in the media. "I have a window. I know when he's going to come up. But I don't scoff or laugh at the conjecture. I understand what you guys have to do. In this job, you're open for criticism, whether you do it now or you do it later. You either held him a month too long or put him a month too soon. I've got to look in the mirror, and I've got to develop him the way I believe he needs to be developed. That's why I'm the general manager of the team, because I have developed players in the past, and that's how I got the job. I feel comfortable with his developmental schedule. I think it's the right schedule, and I think it's best for him long-term."

32 comments:

natsfan1a said...

Sigh. I'm as excited about SS as the next fan, but I'll also be one happy camper after he's made his debut, because then there'll be an end to all the breathless speculation about when it will take place.

section129 said...

Maybe we should work up a bar chart with likelihood of the debut on one axis and dates on the other, with a cutout of SS moving up and down the bars as the speculation shifts. I'd do it if I wasn't so busy juggling RCR requests and scouting StubHub options ...

Anonymous said...

June 4th and June 8th games are both in the 20-game Plan D, which is Teddy's Plan. So when Strasburg debuts, can we expect Teddy to win?

And boy am I glad I have Teddy's Plan!

Anonymous said...

"So we know Strasburg is pitching at least twice more in the minors..."

Why? Because MASN says so? They have two more starts scheduled to air, but I seriously doubt they got Rizzo's assurance they were set in stone. Probably the case, but not with the certainty you suggest.

Eric said...

Looking more annd more like the 4th is the date, though i'm not buying tickets just yet. Better questions now are 1. Who goes to AAA or Pen to make room (I bet Atilano goes to the pen and Batista gets DFA'd) 2. When will we see the walking wounded start to return? (Detwiler in June, Wang in early July, Marquis in mid-July and Jordan Zimmerman in August/September?

natsfan said...

If Strasburg starts Sunday against the O's, he could then get a start in his hometown of San Diego next weekend. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

natsfan...don't think thats happening, to soon, not June. He could pitch against the Pads when they visit here though. June 4th is the bet...wonder if Vegas is taking bets on the debut day? JTinSC

Anonymous said...

Probably won't happen Natsfan...to soon - not june. June 4th sounds like the date to me.

Kenz aFan said...

I would not at all be surprised if the Nats called up Strasburg to debut on the road. More specifically, in San Diego (his home town) on the 30th.

Pitching him on that day would put him in line with a June 4th start to begin the home stand. It will also mean that he would have a maximum of 127 days of service time. After doing some research and learning that no player has ever been awarded Super-Two status after having been in the majors for less than 130 days (with only 3 having been given the status with 2 years 130 days service time), May 30th becomes a very real possibility.

JayB said...

Mark,

Not sure the SS call up will matter this year unless they address OF soon. RF is a joke and Harris seems to be getting too old right before our eyes. He is of little use they way he is playing in the field and at bat.

How long can Rizzo afford to keep up this facade that all is well in the OF?

Anonymous said...

-JayB
It looks like Bernadina will get most of the starts at RF. Harris only started yesterday because Morgan was given a day off. The RF is an issue, but I think it is fair to give Bernadina that shot. I would expect Rizzo to address it before the trade deadline or in the offseason if no one in the organization will earn it. I am curious to see what Bernadina can do, after being injured all last season. So far I am liking what I am seeing but the critical point for Bernadina is to see what happens after the hot streak.

aspenbubba said...

Eric,

I think you are a month ahead. All those dates seem to be optimistic and probably do not include rehab assignments. Detwiler early July, Wang late July-early August. and Marquis end of August. JZim with some spot starts in September when SS is shut down. Obviuosly all of them are based on 100 % recovery.

natsfan1a said...

btw, that wasn't me. Just sayin'

JayB said...

I think Roger is a nice 4th OF but he does not have the run producing bat to be a corner OF on a winning team. I understand Harris was a fill in but so is Guz and so on...the time is way past to get serious about the RF ABs. Roger can fill in once or twice a week and in Late Innings but any more than that and we are playing short handed against the rest of the NL's better teams.

Zach said...

I'm a Mets fan, but I am visiting DC in June and bought tickets to the Nats-Pirates game on June 10th awhile ago (splurged on field level seats too).

I hope you're right about the timing Mark, because as a general fan of baseball it would absolutely make my year if I was able to serendipitously catch Strasburg's 2nd start ever.

cadeck13 said...

Natsfan1a - I chuckeld to myself when I read your San Diego post - good one...hahahaha!

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, cadeck, but I can't say I remember that one. Of course, half the time I can't remember what I had for breakfast. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Oh, maybe you meant the one above, re. SS starting there. I don't know who posted that, but they aren't part of the natsfan1 family. :-)

cadeck13 said...

sorry, my bad, I meant natsfan :)

Anonymous said...

When is Strasburg's induction into the Hall of Fame scheduled? Typically that occurs sometime after one's 1st major league appearance

Anonymous said...

Still thinking it will be against the Pirates June 8th. The off day plus a team that is not the challenge that a San Diego or Cincinnati presents. An easy transition into the starting rotation.

Anonymous said...

natsfan1a1 : fan gurls?

Anonymous said...

How long can Rizzo afford to keep up this facade that all is well in the OF?

Probably until Michael Burgess ready and why not? It takes a month or two to consummate a trade as we have heard both JimBo and Mike Rizzo state? You have to be ready to give up something valuable to get something valuable in exchange. What do they have? They would have to give up either an Dunn or a Willingham to get say a BJ Upton. Someone Mike Rizzo and team did look into acquiring.

Its not that easy to accomplish. Commiserating about it over and over again won't make it happen dude. Learn to accept the fact that they will be looking to see what the homegrown under team control talent can do first.

alexva said...

JayB, you're right Bernadina is not a corner OF, he is a CF. But in order to see if he can hit at this level, that is where he has to play and he has to play a lot. If he does hit, he can either be traded or play CF and allow Morgan to be traded. At some point you have to let it go, the RF situation is a liability, no denying it.

mikeladd123 said...

Mark, I wrote to you in spring training that June 4th would be the day. The absolute biggest media event for the Nats this year will be his debut. There is no way that day will be on the road - absolutely none. Having his first two starts at home against teams that might not have crowds of 20,000 without him pitching will pay for a lot of his signing bonus. That day also will give him five of his seven pre-All Star game starts at home in a five man rotation schedule.

Anonymous said...

With the Mets desperately short of SPs and the Marlins lineup disrupted by the Hanley situation, there's blood in the water in the NL East. There's a window of opportunity opening for the Nationals to do some damage beginning with the next homestand.

Knoxville Nat said...

What is "the Hanley situation"?

natsfan1a said...

natsfan1a = natsfan1a

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Anonymous said...
natsfan1a1 : fan gurls?

natsfan1a said...

Ramirez had a tiff with his skipper in Florida.

Anonymous said...

JayB said...
Mark,

Not sure the SS call up will matter this year unless they address OF soon. RF is a joke and Harris seems to be getting too old right before our eyes. He is of little use they way he is playing in the field and at bat.

How long can Rizzo afford to keep up this facade that all is well in the OF?


JayB - I think you nailed this one about Willie Harris. Also, LF is his comfort zone not RF. He should have been back at the wall on that triple in the first inning and caught it and instead he slowed up for a split second which caused him not to be there. Yes, it was a tough play but again if he was positioned properly he should have been there.

The team may lose some power with Bernadina in RF but you gain so much in RF defense. I truly believe Bernadina makes both key plays that Willie missed.

Bernadina made a similar play at the wall in CF and made the catch.

B.R. said...

Mark,
If the Nationals are actively pursuing Roy Oswalt and trying to persuade them that he should waive his no-trade clause to come to D.C., do you think they would have Strasburg make a start in Houston to drive the point home, so to speak?

real estate rebate said...

any chance steve pitches on 8/1?

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