Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Strasburg ready to leave Viera
Stephen Strasburg completed the final task his six-month rehabilitation process in Viera, Fla., this morning, pitching a three-inning, simulated game at the Nationals' spring training complex.
Next up for the 23-year-old right-hander: A 30-day minor-league rehab stint that should begin early next week and put him on course to return to the Nationals in early September.
Strasburg, according to eyewitnesses, threw 51 pitches over three simulated "innings" to members of the Nationals' Gulf Coast League rookie team. Radar gun readings weren't provided, but he appeared to be throwing free and easy, at near-top velocity.
Thus concluded six long months of rehab in Viera for Strasburg, who reported in February having just resumed playing catch for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery Sept. 3. He gradually progressed to the point he began throwing off a mound, then adding breaking balls, then facing live hitters in a batting cage before pitching three simulated games over the last few weeks.
Team officials haven't announced a precise date and time for Strasburg to begin his minor-league rehab stint, but it's likely to come early next week at the home ballpark of one of the Nationals' affiliates: low-Class A Hagerstown, high-Class A Potomac, Class AA Harrisburg or Class AAA Syracuse.
Once he begins the rehab assignment, Strasburg will have 30 days before he must either be activated off the disabled list or shut down with a new injury. Assuming no setbacks, he'd be on schedule to return to the Nationals sometime in early September and be able to make four or five starts before season's end.
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Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 3:07 PM