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Stephen Strasburg hit 95 m.p.h. in a simulated game

Jul 19, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

Stephen Strasburg Reuters

Stephen Strasburg, starting pitcher. A man barely alive.

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic pitcher. Stephen Strasburg will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”

Davey Johnson said Strasburg hit 95 today. And that was “a little tentative.”

That was Adam Kilgore on Twitter, describing Johnson’s performance of Strasburg’s simulated game.

As many have noted, of course, velocity is not the biggest trick when it comes to rebounding following Tommy John surgery. It’s touch and command.  And what made Strasburg so special last year were all of those things.  Yes, that heater was impressive, but more impressive was his ability to go from mid-to-high 90s and then break of the bender or throw that changeup of his for strikes.  The changeup that was faster than many guys’ fastballs, yet still made hitters look foolish.

So this is obviously awesome, but know that even if Strasburg pitches late this season, we may not see him at his post-surgery best until next spring.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    What’s pretty sick is that the Nats are actually playing .500 baseball right now. With Werth hitting .211 with a .669 OPS. With Strasburg out and Gorzelanny/Maya starting 18 games and going 2-7.

    Just imagine for a second Strasburg in there and he is 7-7 with a few no decisions. That’s still a 5 game swing. The Nats would only be a few games out in the WC…and if Werth was hitting even .250…wow.

    This team is going to be dangerous next year.

    • bigxrob - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      Would that make strasburg a + 5 WAR player?

    • nategearhart - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      I agree that they are going to be a good team, Chris. And I don’t mean to pick a nit, but you can’t arbitrarily say that Strasburg would cause a 5-game swing. Which real games do we replace with “Strasburg games”? Maybe his 7 wins were real wins anyway, making no difference in the W column but saving the bullpen a few innings.
      Again I agree that Strasburg makes the Nats way, way better. But who knows by how much?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        I think the real games would the the 16 stinkers that Gorz/Maya have pitched to an ERA over 5. I don’t care enough to go through each one of their starts, but assuming the team is the consistent winning pct that they are for their record…they are 2-7 in 18 starts, then the team would be 4-14 in their 18 starts. My assumption was that the team would be at worst, 9-9 in the 18 starts that Strasburg would have pitched instead of these guys. That’s where I got the 5 game swing…and I think conservatively speaking, that is a pretty fair estimate.

      • cktai - Jul 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

        Nats are 6-12 in the games where Gorzalanny and Maya started.

      • cktai - Jul 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        5-9 for Gorzelanny and 1-3 for Maya

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        OK, so if the Nats were 11-7 in Strasburgs games, which isn’t really all that much of a stretch, then that’s 5 games better.

      • cktai - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:08 AM

        I very much doubt that even with Strasburg on the mount, the Nationals can win 61% of their games. 61% is a 99 win season, or the current Red Sox record. I very much doubt the Nationals with 5 starting Strasburgs would be in that territory.

        10-8 would be a win percentage of 55%, or a 90 win season, or 7th best record in baseball at the moment.

      • natsfan18 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        @cktai: are you kidding? of course they def could. did you not watch stras last year? he was amazing. he blew hitters away. he had rough outings but he certainly would win 61% of his starts. just like if boston had 5 lesters they’d win more than that [obviously].

  2. jimbo1949 - Jul 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I’m waiting for Wang to show later this month, he’s showing good stuff in the minors. Hope he makes it, that would be a more impressive recovery.

  3. Reflex - Jul 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I estimate two years and Strasburg has shoulder surgery. His motion is all kinds of messed up.

    • natsfan18 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      yep. thats why im kinda worried about him moving forward.

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