Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strasburg pushed back a day

DENVER -- We've been speculating about the date of Stephen Strasburg's big-league debut for months now. (For the record, way back on March 8, I threw out June 8 vs. the Pirates as a projected date, though in our official season predictions on Opening Day, I bumped it back to June 9.)

Well, we can start narrowing it down a bit now, thanks to today's news that Strasburg will be given an extra day of rest prior to his next start for Class AAA Syracuse. That means he next pitches Tuesday at Rochester against the Minnesota Twins' top affiliate.

What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, if he stays on a five-day schedule from there on, he'd line up to start on (what do you know?) Tuesday, June 8 against the Pirates.

But there's another possible scenario. What if the Nationals decide to keep giving him an extra day off the rest of his time in Syracuse? By doing this, they would perhaps save a few innings up for the major leagues, while also lining him up to debut Friday, June 4 against the Reds. The other added benefit of such a plan: Strasburg could then return to pitch the final game of that homestand at Nationals Park, Thursday, June 10 against the Pirates. That's two big gates for the club against two opponents that normally wouldn't bring many bodies in.

Now, I'd still caution against paying a lot of money for tickets to one of those games purely on the hunch that you're going to get to see Strasburg's debut. But it would certainly appear now that the magic date will either be June 4 or June 8. It would take some serious finagling to line him up for the weekend against the Reds (June 5-6).

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I'm trying to project Strasburg's starts past June 8 (or whatever), should I be counting every fifth day or every fifth game?

Eric said...

Normal rest after May 18th in Rochester would be Sunday May 23rd home vs Baltimore another benefit (for Strasburg) is his next turn in the rotation would be Saturday May 29th in San Diego then June 3rd vs no-hit Houston. He only has 16 or so starts in him before he hits an inning limit so why waste them in AAA when the super-2 cut-off has likely already passed.

jcj5y said...

I don't think they want to give him an extra day for the next 3 starts. That's not realistic preparation for the majors, and that seems like the most important goal---getting him ready for the every fifth day grind, with only occassional days off. So I'm thinking June 8 looks most likely.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Anon: Once he gets to the majors, Strasburg will go every fifth GAME, not day. Just like the other guys in the rotation.

B.R. said...

There's a Nike swoosh in Strasburg's picture there. Is that the official MLB photo? Is there some sort of endorsement deal going on? It's not exactly ... subtle.

Anonymous said...

I'm a gambler. Just bought four for June 4. Stephen Strasburg - come on down!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Stan K. has already given the date to the Philly Fans some they come to boo him.

Carl in 309 said...

These two posts on the way to Denver have been great reads . . . maybe it's only me, but I feel like we're all glued to our computers awaiting tonight's game and examining our schedules for early June. I know I am.

I find myself--a syndicate member in 2 season ticket packages--with tickets to four of the six games in that early June home stand. What two am I missing? June 4 and 9. Given my kind of luck, you can almost count on those being Strasburg dates! Guess I'll just have to be satisfied that I saw the guy pitch in spring training. Anyone dying to see the Reds and Bucs when Strasburg isn't pitching???

Dave said...

B.R., I think those Nike undershirts are standard-issue in MLB. The undershirts last year were also Nike, but the swoosh logo was buried beneath the jersey.

I've seen this logo on other MLB players' undershirts. I don't think this is a harbinger of an endorsement deal for Stras.

Aeoliano said...

June 8th is also Buster Olney's prediction ... and there's some logic behind it.

Aeoliano said...

And ... as Ben Goessling states management will try very hard to ensure that Drew Storen comes up first ... if he has earned it at that point.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm a season's ticket holder and I called the Nats about cashing in Red Carpet Rewards points for tickets and ALL of the Reds and Pirates games are now blacked out. Nice way to reward your most loyal customers and shut them out of seeing Strasburg! We pay the freight for 5 years and get screwed by Kasten and the Lerners out of one of the biggest games in the franchise's history. And they wonder why they have no season's ticket holders left!

Anonymous8 said...

Anon at 6:11, I loaded up on June 10th tickets last week using my STH benefits and got 30 tickets of which I donated 25 to a charity so my guess is that plenty of people loaded up already in speculating.

Early bird gets the worm!

Anonymous8 said...

I just bought 5 more tickets in Section 117 for June 4th so I am hoping that lines up perfectly!

Better get them before the Reds buses roll into town!

Kenz aFan said...

I have and still maintain, that Strasburg will make his Major League debut at home on June 4th against the Cincinnati Reds.

The reason I've picked June 4th, is because that will give him (and the Nats) the greatest number of home starts. Even if he only pitches every 5th game, he will have 5 home games versus two away games.

Here's a possible alternative. If, up to the All-Star break, the Nats pitch him every 5th day, as opposed to every 5th game, he would have eight starts, with six of them at home.

Either way, June 4th is the perfect starting date for his Major League debut. There will be 122 service days left in the season, meaning he'll be safely past any date that could earn him Super Two status.

Anonymous said...

i got june 4, 6, 8, and 10. overkill, probably!

Jack T. in Florida said...

Heck... I'm flying up from Orlando for the entire Reds series .. 4th, 5th and 6th... Please make it that week end!

Anonymous said...

who is most likely to get bumped from roster to make room for SS

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