"They have a plan for me," Stephen Strasburg told reporters gathered around him in the dugout at Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium when asked where he thought he'd start the 2010 campaign, but the 21-year-old right-hander has made clear all along that he knows there is a process each major league player goes through on the way up, and as he was quoted stating last night on the MLB Network's Hot Stove show, he's willing to do what the Nationals ask of their '09 No.1 overall pick, who, for his part, says he, "...trust(s) that they're going to handle me the right way, so you know, you've just gotta worry about what you can control and that's going out there and trying to help your team win the ballgame."MLB Tonight and Hot Stove host Joe Magrane, a former major league pitcher with the Cardinals, Angels and White Sox, told his co-hosts last night that, Strasburg can "...generate velocity in the high '90's with tight breaking pitches where it doesn't really look like he's working that hard...He's a finished product...He gets three pitches over the plate consistently and he's ready to go, all he needs is time." Barry Larkin, who left a position with the Nationals to join the MLB Network, says the most impressive thing about Strasburg, in his opinion, is the humility the much-hyped young pitcher has shown:
"...I had a chance to sit down and talk to him, and the humility was incredible. You heard in the interview right there him say that I trust that the club has a plan for me, and whatever they tell me they need me to do, because he knows that he hasn't figured it out himself. That is a huge huge piece of the puzzle when you're trying to integrate yourself into a big league club, and he has that humility, I think he's going to be very successful."
Harold Reynolds? "There is a process, you don't want him to get up there and struggle, you want to take your time with him...I want to put him in the big leagues today. Let him go get it. I mean, $15 million? Go get'em son, it's okay."
• MLB.com's Bill Ladson offered his own opinion on where Strasburg should start the twenty-ten campaign in the most recent edition of his, "Inbox: Should Strasburg start in the minors", where Mr. Ladson responds to a reader who worries that Washington might rush the pitcher to the majors too soon by writing:
"if he is the best pitcher during Spring Training, I believe Strasburg should be in the rotation. I think he is better than a lot of the Nationals pitchers fighting for the final two spots in the rotation.
"I heard the same concerns about Dwight Gooden in 1984, but he turned out to be the best pitcher on the Mets' staff that season. We'll see how Strasburg does once the exhibition season starts."
Mr. Ladson isn't the only one to draw comparisons between Strasburg and Gooden. Davey Johnson, who's currently working with Washington as an assistant to DC GM Mike Rizzo, was the NY Mets' skipper when a then-19-year-old Doc Gooden debuted with the Mets in 1984, winning 17 games in his rookie season and striking out a ridiculous 276 batters (11.4 K/9) in 31 starts and 218.0 IP. Mr. Johnson explains to ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian, in an article entitled, "Stephen Strasburg era has arrived", that the Nationals are going to take a different approach with their 21-year-old phenom, however, as he tells Mr. Kurkjian that he's already warned Nationals' Manager Jim Riggleman, "...not to get a good look at him here," in Spring Training, because, "...he'll love him, he'll want to take him north for Opening Day.'' Strasburg most likely will head north once Spring Training ends, but only as far as the Carolina League...if those P-Nats' rumors are true...