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Stephen Strasburg could be making rehab starts next month

Jul 6, 2011, 12:40 PM EDT

strasburg getty Getty Images

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes today that it’s “feasible” that Stephen Strasburg could make a minor league rehab start by mid-August.

The rehab seems like it’s going swimmingly. He has already thrown fastballs with full violence and anger and is slipping the bender in there as well.

While there’s a chance he could be pitching in real games before the year is out, I still think I’d err on the side of keeping him in practice settings, given that nothing is likely to be won or lost based on his presence this year. And even if there’s a chance of it, there is way too much to be risked by having Strasburg pitch too soon.

By the way, don’t you love that pic of Strasburg?  Reminds me of the Rolling Stones’ “Hot Rocks” album cover. Or maybe Dylan’s Greatest Hits.

  1. royhobbs39 - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    As a Nationals fan, I tend to disagree on the fact that his presence would make no difference on having anything won it lost this year. The Nats are in the wild card hunt and having an ace in the mix could swing things in their favor. That being said, this team is being built for ’12 or ’13 and their is no use in risking his health for anything less than a sure thing.

    Now if Harper gets called up this year, then I tend to think calling up Strasburg may be on the table. Either way I will be calling Rizzo an idiot and accusing him of not knowing what he is doing… It’s really a no-win for him.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      The Nationals are not in the wild card hunt nor will they be. Wild card will go to the Braves or if they miraculously win the division, then the Phillies. They should be building toward the future and I don’t see how bringing Strasburg back this year benefits them in any way. What they should be using this time to do is altering his pitching mechanics so he doesn’t break down in another year.

      • royhobbs39 - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        It’s July 6th and they are seven games out? If they are not in the hunt for not only the wild card but the NL East as well, then two-thirds of MLB should just quit in June. Because if you are not five to ten games above .500 by then, you apparently have no chance. Hold on…I have over 100 years of baseball history trying to yell something in my ear…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        2 of the best 5 teams in MLB are in the NL East. They are not in the wild card hunt and certainly not in the hunt for the division. They have had one hot streak and other than that have been less than mediocre. It is nice to have hope but be realistic. The Nationals are playing for the 2013 season.

  2. screename529 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Is it really that big of a risk? We’ve seen hundreds of guys pitch 12 months after TJS and unless I’m missing something, the only risk seems to be performance, not health. He only has 12 ML starts (23 professional in total), not to mention he only got ~125 IP under his belt last year, so he’ll be on an innings limit. It seems like he could use the experience and at least some work on his arm even to only slightly increase that limit if the Nats truly hope to contend next year.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:24 PM

      I don’t have the statistics on this, but 12 months seems a bit rapid. How long was Jordan Zimmerman out? I might be wrong on this, but it seems to me that it was a few months longer. I just don’t see the rush in bringing him back this season.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        As Kilgore noted in his piece, Zimmermann was out less than 10.5 months before starting a rehab assignment. That was fast compared with the usual 12-18 month projections.

        Kilgore’s key words are “feasible” and “…getting ahead of ourselves..” Even under the most optimistic scenario, Strasburg could make a start or two in September to begin working off the rust, but would still need several starts in 2012 to get back to pre-surgery form.

        By all accounts, his progress has been good. Continued patience is needed.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        That is fast on Zimmerman’s part. Thanks for the info.

  3. aceshigh11 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Definitely “Hot Rocks.”

    All it needs is a larger silhouette of Keith Richards’ head around him.

    Or Jack McKeon…they’re around the same age.

  4. spudchukar - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    There is no reason to rush, but there is also no reason to hold him back if he is painless and feels like he is ready to go. I know I would like to see him in late August mowing down Phillies.

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