Monday, August 22, 2011
Strasburg ready for next step
Updated at 10:55 p.m.
HAGERSTOWN -- It can be easy to forget, given everything that's happened over the last 18 months, that Stephen Strasburg had never spent a day below Class AA before he embarked on his rehab from Tommy John surgery this month.
Strasburg has now started four games against Class A competition, three of them for the Hagerstown Suns. And though he's accomplished everything he's needed to in these outings -- including Monday night's three-inning outing against the Hickory Crawdads -- he also understands it's time to move on to a higher caliber of opponent.
"I think it would help me out a lot," he said. "I've never pitched at this level before. This is kind of new. I'm still trying to figure out how these guys are going to approach me. ... I've really learned how to set guys up. At this level, I don't really have a chance to set them up, because they're already swinging."
Strasburg, for the uninitiated, is hardly the prototypical million-dollar arm with a 10-cent head. He's as analytical a pitcher as they get, especially for a 23-year-old with only 12 games of big-league experience.
And at this stage of his rehab, now that he's reached the 60-pitch plateau and established that his arm feels as strong as it ever has,
Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 8:19 PM