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'Stephen Strasburg has no business being in the minor leagues'

May 20, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg made his latest and perhaps second-to-last Triple-A start last night, tossing 6.1 shutout innings against the Twins’ affiliate in Rochester, New York. My friend and former SABR convention roommate Ben Jacobs was in attendance and offered up this scouting report:

Strasburg touched 99 mph on the park gun a handful of times and worked consistently in the 96-98 range. He made several hitters look silly with his curveball, either freezing them on a pitch that dropped into the strike zone or getting them to swing at a pitch that ended up in the dirt. Throughout the night, he probably hit 15 numbers on the radar gun between 79 and 99.



He did struggle with wildness at times, walking two. In fact, after throwing 24 pitches in the game, he had thrown 12 strikes and 12 balls. He settled down after that, throwing 48 strikes and 20 balls the rest of the way. The Red Wings managed three hits … but none of them were hit hard.



The first hit was an infield single that third baseman Chris Lambin made a nice bare-handed play on, but Trevor Plouffe beat it out at first. The other two were grounders up the middle. In fact, the Red Wings only hit two balls hard all night off Strasburg: a line drive right at center fielder Justin Maxwell and a hot shot down the line on which Lambin made a beautiful diving snare.

Jacobs’ conclusion? “Strasburg has no business being in the minor leagues.”
With one start likely remaining until the Nationals are done suppressing his service time and call Strasburg up to Washington, he’s logged 18.1 scoreless innings in three outings at Triple-A and is 6-1 with a 0.89 ERA, .123 opponents’ batting average, and 49/10 K/BB ratio in 40.1 total innings as a minor leaguer.

  1. danny - May 20, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Yeah lets move him up and make a little money off of him until he throws his arm out and then we can dump him.

  2. Dave M. - May 20, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Strasburg’s numbers in the minors have been pretty impressive, but success in the minor leagues doesn’t necessarily carry over when a player gets promoted to the big club. The kid hasn’t won a game at the big-league level yet. Let him get his first win under his belt before we anoint him the second coming of Walter Johnson.

  3. Da Real - May 20, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Strasburg is pitching, whether in the minors or not. Therefore, he is risking his arm regardless. It’s a nice thought to move him up slowly, but really is there a point to it? He is a #1 starter in the majors right now.

  4. Mark - May 20, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    “Let him get his first win under his belt before we anoint him the second coming of Walter Johnson.”
    It’s pretty easy to defeat an argument you create out of whole cloth. There is a huge difference between this and saying he doesn’t belong in the minors which is what was actually stated. Obviously nothing is gaurenteed but what good does it do to leave him in AAA?
    And yes, they can limit his pitches and/or innings just as easliy in the majors as they can in the minors.

  5. Bryz - May 20, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    “Let him get his first win under his belt before we anoint him the second coming of Walter Johnson.”
    The article states that Strasburg has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues, not that he’s going to be successful in the majors. Besides, his first win will be dependent on how well the Nationals offense is performing that day. For all we know, he may fall victim to Zack Greinke Offensive Support Syndrome.

  6. jwb - May 20, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    “Strasburg’s numbers in the minors have been pretty impressive, but success in the minor leagues doesn’t necessarily carry over when a player gets promoted to the big club.”
    ERA 9 in AA and AA. Name five who were not successful.

  7. me - May 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    He is in the minors for service time. They basically own him longer for cheaper then. June 1st and he will be in the big leagues. He got one maybe two starts left until hes in the majors.

  8. Buckwheat - May 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Who made these fools experts on “who should be playing where”. The countryside is almost littered with former hard throwing young guys who never made it.

  9. jwb - May 20, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Let’s try this again (Blog software does not play well with angle brackets):
    “Strasburg’s numbers in the minors have been pretty impressive, but success in the minor leagues doesn’t necessarily carry over when a player gets promoted to the big club.”
    ERA less than 1, 5:1 K/W, K/9 greater than 9 in AA and AA. Name five who were not successful.

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