ATLANTA -- Stephen Strasburg crossed another significant milepost in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery on Wednesday when he faced live hitters for the first time at the Nationals' spring training complex in Viera, Fla.
Strasburg threw 45 pitches during a "live batting practice" session and reported no problems. He's expected to throw another round on Monday, moving him one step closer to a potential return to the Nationals' rotation before the end of the season.
General manager Mike Rizzo reiterated today that the club has not determined yet whether Strasburg will pitch in the majors in 2011, though he hasn't ruled it out.
"I think it's in play, yeah," Rizzo said before the Nationals' second-half opener against the Braves. "If his rehab progresses on schedule, there's a chance he could get a major-league start in September."
Before that can happen, Strasburg still needs to pitch in some simulated games in Florida, then begin a minor-league rehab