LIVE CHAT: MLB.com Is hosting a LIVE CHAT with Stephen Strasburg at 11:30 am this morning. Submit ?'s starting at 10:00 am EST. (UPDATE: Live chat canceled...BOO!)
Asked by XM's The Show hosts Rob Dibble and Jody McDonald what the Nationals' plans for Stephen Strasburg were, the Washington Nationals' new GM Mike Rizzo explained that the team had, "...a very specific plan for Stephen, we had it before we signed him..." :
"...it was a plan devised by myself and the pitching coordinators and given to Stephen even before we signed him. The plan is to...we're going to assess him, see where he's at in his throwing program. He hasn't pitched competitively since May 28th, so with that long layover, we're going to have to (wind?) him up slowly, and getting on a pitching program that gives us a progression that gets him to competitive pitching. It's usually a 4-5 week progression that gets him built up so he can throw 5 or 6 innings of full ball without any risk of hurting his arm. So that leads us to probably getting several innings in the Florida instructional league and building him up to get him ready to pitch in the Arizona Fall League in October..."
So while you won't see Strasburg pitch in DC this season, you will be able to see the Nationals' newest pitcher this afternoon when Washington (the city and the team) welcomes the 21-year-old right-handed flamethrower to Nationals Park for an introductory press conference. The Nationals have sold thousands of $1 tickets to ensure that there is a crowd there to greet the young pitcher, who will attend a press conference at 2:00 pm EST and then throw out the first pitch before the first of four between the Washington Nationals and visiting Milwaukee Brewers tonight.
Strasburg, 21!!!, who agreed to a 4-year/$15.1 million dollar deal minutes before Monday night's deadline to sign '09 Draft picks, finished his junior year at San Diego State University with a (13-1) record and a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts and 109.0 IP over which he allowed just 65 hits, 16 ER and 19 walks while striking out 195 and holding opponents to a .172 AVG.
If you haven't spent the last year obsessing over the Nationals' #1 pick, now's the time to catch up:
Federal Baseball.com's Top 10 Strasburg Posts After The JUMP...
TOP 10 Stephen Strasburg Posts:
-- (Strasburg drawing by: Francis Hogan - Full Swing - Comics In A Blog, Blomics?)
"How about that confident, focused, aggressive Strasburg along with John Lannan, Collin Balester, ('07 1st pick) Ross Detwiler and Jordan Zimmermann in the Nationals' rotation in 2010? It could all be up to Scott "Maximum" Boras, who is referred to by Strasburg's mother, (as quoted in Mr. Harlan's article), as a "rottweiler", with Strasburg himself noting, "I know that when it comes down to it, he'll go out there and fight for me."
"Washington is going to draft (Stephen) Strasburg," (Bowden) said. "The decision has already been made. It was made when I was there. That is who they are going to take...Strasburg is going to be drafted by Washington. You think they are going to sign him early? No, it's going to be Aug. 15 at 11:57 p.m. It will end at around $15 million, about under $35 million of what Scott [Boras] wants, but that is where it ends up."
"Stephen Strasburg pitching at Petco Park? That IS delicious! Like I said before, I think the mound bothered him to the point that his control was off and he lost a little velocity. He hit 98-99 a few times but the Petco gun had him sitting around 94-96. The problem wasn't the velocity however, because it was his fastball which he could not control all game."
"I was looking around for the latest information on Stephen Strasburg's negotiations with the Washington Nationals when I came across two very interesting articles, one by MLB Trade Rumors.com's Ben Nicholson-Smith entitled, "Aroldis Chapman's Value", which deals, in part, with the effect the Cuban defectee's signing might have on Strasburg's contract with the Washington Nationals, and another by Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin entitled, "Boras May Explore Japan for Strasburg", which details rumors of Mr. Boras' "unique" approach to securing a deal for the former SDSU Aztec starter. "
"I heard from some scouts that they wanted to see Stephen under pressure. They wanted to see him get in a bad spot and be able to get out of it. They wanted to see him keep his cool and show his resolve. Today he did that. He gave up a run on two hits in the 2nd inning. He gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 3rd. In the third inning he was in trouble. Big trouble. He came so close to falling apart."
"...Strasburg will make a ton of money, but the bulls-eye on his back will be larger because of it. Everyone will want a chance to cut him down to size. In talking to the other pitchers, it seems that Strasburg will likely inspire a lot of jealousy in the minor leagues."
"SI.com's Lee Jenkins: It's unreasonable to peg him as the next Clemens or Gooden. But if he stays healthy, I see no reason why he shouldn't be in the Nationals rotation at this time next year, and become their ace in the next two to three years..."
"...The Washington Nationals earned the #1 pick in '09 with a 59-102 record in 2008. Unless something dramatic happens between now and the next draft, Strasburg awaits...with his agent, whose name has not yet entered into the discussion, Scott "Maximum" Boras set to argue on his clients' behalf, and the Washington Nationals as desperate as the Tampa Bay Rays ever were to send a message to the DC Faithful that they are serious about building a winning team in the nation's capital."
Washington Nationals/Stephen Strasburg: Signing Deadline Roundtable: featuring the DC Faithful, Nationals News Network, FJB and Federal Baseball.com.
sdsuaztec4 - "Don't •••• this up!! That is all." e chigliak - "On the clock...(and) what sdsuaztec4 SAID!!!!" graysnail - "John Hart talking about getting the first two picks next year.*You're not helping dude." Doghouse - "Clock? CLOCK?! This pick takes more than 1 second?" catdaddy3000 - "Uh, is this really made for TV?...is Selig chewing?" e chigliak - "You have to have a crowd, empty studio doesn't work..." cat daddy3000 - "Let each team make their own announcement........and yeah, have an audience...We are apparently interrupting Selig's dinner..." e chigliak (to Mr. Selig) - "SAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY IT!!!!"
It was a full six minutes after midnight, six minutes past the deadline when Baseball America's Twitter feed posted the following report: "Aaron Fitt reports Strasburg signs. MLB deal worth $15.67 million over 4 years."
And one more time, just for the heck of it...