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Stephen Strasburg clocked in high-90s during first rehab start

Aug 8, 2011, 11:42 AM EDT

Stephen Strasburg Reuters

In his first game action since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery 11 months ago Stephen Strasburg allowed one run in 1.2 innings at Single-A yesterday, throwing 25 of 30 pitches for strikes and striking out four of the eight batters he faced.

Pitchers often need time to rediscover their peak velocity following Tommy John surgery, but Strasburg’s fastball was clocked in the high-90s and the former No. 1 overall pick told the Associated Press afterward that he “kind of just got that feeling back real quick” thanks in part to adrenaline.

Strasburg even suggested that his post-surgery mechanics feel better and more efficient, telling the AP:

It honestly does. I get on top of the ball a lot better. I’m able to drive the ball down into the zone a lot better, a lot more efficiency. Before, I just wasn’t in as good a shape. I think the biggest reason I broke down is because I just got tired. I wasn’t necessarily prepared for a full season.

He’s scheduled to start again in the minors Friday, at which point the Nationals will probably go against Rob Dibble’s sage advice and map out a timetable his return to the majors in September.

  1. APBA Guy - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    That’s amazing, near peak velocity after 11 months. Still, after watching a lot of pitchers come back from TJ over the years you sort of expect that there will be some bumps on the road. But hopefully he’ll be ready by next April 1, fully fit and firing 99+. He’s such a great talent.

  2. dodger88 - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    If I am not mistaken, velocity can come back pretty quick; its a pitcher’s control and ability to place pitches that can take a while. As long as they don;t overdue it, having him pitch in September is a good idea if it means he’ll have less control issues come April.

  3. randomdigits - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I think it was a mistake not to try and rebuild his mechanics. I guess the Nats are hoping they can get 5 years out of him before he breaks down again.

    • JBerardi - Aug 8, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      If the Nats can get one healthy season out of him, that’ll be worth every penny they paid for him and then some.

      • randomdigits - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

        I am aware of that.

        I also know that he needs to be healthy for them in 2013 onward when Harper and Rendon hit the big leagues. If they want to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

        He does have issues with his delivery that increase his injury risk and I think the Nats and and he himself, would be better served addressing those issues now while he is on the shelf.

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