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UPDATE: Strasburg says goodbye, for now…

Mar 20, 2010, 9:04 AM EDT

Strasburg debut.jpgUPDATE: According to the Nationals’ official Twitter feed, Strasburg has been optioned to Double-A Harrisburg.  That’s that.

SATURDAY, 8:39pm: Stephen Strasburg just wrapped up what could be his last start of the spring with the Nationals.

He got off to a bit of a rough start, serving up a solo home run to Cardinals shortstop prospect Tyler Greene on the first pitch of the game — the first run he has allowed this spring — followed by a one-out home run by Allen Craig. But after that? Strasburg struck out seven of the final 12 batters he faced.

Strasburg’s final line for the night: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks

The 21-year-old has a 2.00 ERA and a 12/1 K/BB ratio in nine innings pitched this spring.

Those are some pretty darn impressive numbers, but Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider has what could oddly qualify to be the doozy of them all:

In three spring
starts totaling nine innings, Strasburg has not recorded a flyout. 13
groundouts, 1 popout, 12 strikeouts.

Wow. Strasburg might start the season in the minor leagues, but you can pretty much mark it down that he’ll main attraction in Washington by June.

  1. quintjs - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    2 home runs kinda makes that stat less impressive.
    The 12-1 K/BB ratio on the otherhand…

  2. Bill - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    The Nats need to throw Stras’ right out of the gate. They are not actually helping him by sending him down. Obviously minor leaguers and those in the majors are having a hard time with him. With the Nats probable rotation why not just do it, your paying all this dough out and not really getting any bang for your buck.

  3. Libservative - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Spring stats mean next to nothing. What matters is … is the kid learning how to pitch in the bigs? Everyone says he has Koufax-like stuff, but that’s not enough. Major league hitters will beat his brains in if he doesn’t know his craft. Give him time, let him get some AAA innings under his belt, and let’s hope he’s as good as they say he is.

  4. Andy II - Mar 20, 2010 at 5:27 AM

    If I’m wrong, I apologize, but don’t the Nats get another year out of him if they send him down for just a little bit, a la Evan Longoria? Steve’s clearly better than most of the pitchers in the Nats rotation, but since they’re not contending this year………..

  5. Paul from Fairfax - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Libservative and Andy II have got it right. Let him mature just a bit more; understand that this is not college where he pitched only every Friday; leave the flow of being a professional ballplayer. There is more to just going out to the mound; there is the travel and the downtime. He needs to understand his new career.

  6. Curious George - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    “If I’m wrong, I apologize, but don’t the Nats get another year out of him if they send him down for just a little bit,”
    The Nationals are sending Strasburg down specifically to hold off starting his service clock, nothing else. They can pretend it’s about getting him experience, etc., but that’s just what you say in this situation.
    As for sending him down “for just a little bit”, you are no doubt referring to preventing Strasburg from becoming a super-2 (the top 17% of players with just 2 years experience are arbitration eligible, a year earlier than everyone else). There is no exact formula for the amount of time in the minors that will be enough to take away super-2 status, but I’d expect to see Strasburg in the majors come June, no sooner.

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