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Stephen Strasburg is working to add a slider

Feb 18, 2014, 7:38 PM EDT

stephen strasburg getty Getty Images

From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post …

In his fifth professional season and more than three years removed from Tommy John surgery, Strasburg has a reached a point at which he feels comfortable building off his current, considerable arsenal. Along with his fastball, curve and changeup, Strasburg is working to add a slider.

“It’s just a work in progress,” Strasburg told Kilgore on Tuesday in Nationals camp. “It’s something that I’ve been messing with. I’m just trying to get a feel for it. I’m not going to dump any of my other pitches. But I’ll just have something in the back pocket. … I think my arm is more flexible, like I’m staying behind it more.”

Strasburg, 25, owns an outstanding 2.96 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 through his first 434 1/3 career major league innings. He is the third-ranked starting pitcher — behind only Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Cliff Lee of the Phillies — in the 2014 Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.

  1. chaseutley - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Brad Lidge approves.

  2. raysfan1 - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Ah, an “adding a pitch” story. The BSOHL stories shortly after the end of the previous season as free agency kicks in. The “adding a pitch” stories are a surer sign Spring is around the corner.

    • NatsLady - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      Exactly my thought. Madlibs…

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    I’m going to guess that his arm being more flexible has a LOT to do with that little surgery that he underwent three years ago.

  4. luz56 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    Strasburgh wins the Cy Young this year..Love the Vegas odds on winning WS…. 8×1…Washington Nats hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Only thing holding them back is Matt Williams

    • tuberippin - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      Yes. The manager we’ve never seen manage before is clearly the only thing that can be holding the Nationals back from a World Series victory.

      I also blame Matt Williams for the Nationals’ 2012 playoff debacle.

    • stercuilus65 - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Sorry he’s not going to win the Kershaw.

  5. onbucky96 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:27 AM

    A slider? The Yankees do not approve of the abuse one his arm. Cue The Imperial March…

  6. markofapro - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:03 AM


    • karlkolchak - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      So says the keyboard warrior.

  7. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    AA is working on his fantasy league, he might as well since ownership will not approve him to spend any real money on the real team

  8. RoyHobbs39 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    I think he should work on adding some dance moves…

  9. stex52 - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Cool to have a huge arsenal. Some very good pitchers have fared well with a four-pitch lineup. Roy Oswalt comes to mind. But frankly, I’m not sure it isn’t a bit of overkill. If you can bring a major league curve and change speeds effectively, I think the batters are already about as much off-balance as you need them to be.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      I wouldn’t say overkill, just not a necessity. Last season, he pitched more to contact and his strikeout rate fell. The slider would be a put-away pitch against righties in a way that the rest of his arsenal no longer is if he takes a little off to get batters to swing.

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