Stephen Strasburg missed his last scheduled Grapefruit League start after he underwent a procedure to alleviate the discomfort of an ingrown toenail. As Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams explained it, they wanted Strasburg to pitch in a more controlled atmosphere. Strasburg pitched in a game in minor league camp instead, went three innings and threw 50 pitches to a group of Nationals which included, "Bryce Harper, Kevin Frandsen and various Nats minor leaguers," as MASN's Chris Johnson reported, and Williams said afterwards he didn't, "... expect any issues with Strasburg going forward.
Strasburg is scheduled to make his third start of the Spring this afternoon when the Nationals take on the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Florida's Joker Marchant Stadium.
In his first outing in Grapefruit League action, the Nats' 26-year-old, '09 no.1 overall pick gave up three hits, two walks and two earned runs in 1 ⅔ IP against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In spite of the mixed results, Strasburg told reporters, including Florida Today's David Jones, that he was happy with his initial outing:
"I felt strong, my fastball was coming out good, I was locating that. My curveball felt good, the changeup wasn't great. But for the first outing I was happy with the command. I got some weak contacts, that's all you can ask for.'"
Strasburg threw 40 pitches in the March 7th start, and looked sharp for the first outing according to his manager.
"'I think he was throwing the ball really well,'" Williams said. "'He got to the 40-pitch mark and that's plenty for him the first time out. ... I thought he pitched great.'"
Strasburg is scheduled to make his third start of the Spring and his second outing in Grapefruit League action this afternoon when the Nationals take on the Tigers in a 1:05 PM EDT game that is available via MLB.com's Gameday audio.
Here's the Nationals' lineup for this afternoon's game: