Stephen Strasburg threw a live bullpen session on Friday afternoon in Miller Park before the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers played the second game of their four-game set. Strasburg, 26, who is currently on the 15-Day DL with a left trapezius strain, reportedly threw 60 pitches and simulated a game experience by sitting down as he would between innings. After the session, Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters in Wisconsin that it had gone well.
"'Felt good coming out,'" Williams said, as quoted by the Washington Post's James Wagner:
"'We’ll reevaluate him [Saturday]. He’s still hot if you will. … Once he gets a night’s sleep and gets back here [Saturday] and we see how he feels, then we’ll make another plan from there. No issues throwing today. That’s a positive sign.'"
Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier last month about the plan for the right-hander once he was healthy and able to start throwing again.
An ankle injury suffered during Spring Training, Rizzo said, "... altered his mechanics and altering [his] mechanics kind of affected his back a little bit where he has a little knot in his back the last couple of starts."
So the plan was to, "... settle down all the injuries that he has and make sure that the ankle is perfectly right so he can get on line with his delivery and make sure his mechanics are good so it doesn't affect his back or any other part of his body."
After the live BP session, Williams told the WaPost's reporter that Strasburg's mechanics were already improved:
"It was better on line today," Williams said. "The good thing that he’s gone through this is that he’s continued to throw and continue to work on his mechanics. Today it was much better and more on line. He was able to put the ball where he wanted to. Good breaking balls, good change-ups, good sliders. And the fastball was good. A really good positive sign for us."
Strasburg went on the DL after going (3-5) in ten starts, over which he put up a 6.55 ERA, a 3.97 FIP, 14 walks (2.78 BB/9) and 45 Ks (8.93 K/9) in 45 ⅓ IP.
According to reports from Harrisburg this morning, the no.1 pick of the 2009 Draft will take the next step in his rehab when he makes a start for the Double-A Senators on Wednesday:
Big news! Stephen Strasburg will be in Harrisburg scheduled to pitch on Wednesday for the @HbgSenators. Noon game. Going to be fun!— Kevin Kulp (@senspres) June 15, 2015
Strasburg is expected to make a rehab start with us this Wed.! Noon game time! Get your tickets: https://t.co/Vk02uTKKSu— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) June 15, 2015