Stephen Strasburg faced minor league hitters last time out on the mound, on a back field at the Washington Nationals’ Spring Training facilities in West Palm Beach, FL.
This afternoon, Strasburg starts in a Grapefruit League game for the first time since March 8th, when the Nationals take on the NL East rival Miami Marlins in the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Strasburg threw 75 pitches over five innings in the simulated game last week, then threw ten more in a bullpen session after the Nationals decided against having him face the Houston Astros for a second time this Spring, with another matchup with the ‘Stros lined up next week.
He faced right-handed hitters only in the outing, and got his work in as he prepares for his first start of the season in the second game on the schedule for the Nationals.
“I just definitely threw more breaking balls today than I did in the past,” Strasburg told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I think I faced all right-handers, so that is what it is.”
Through two starts, the now-29-year-old starter has given up six hits, two walks and three earned runs, striking out seven, with opposing hitters putting up a .273 AVG against him in Grapefruit League action.
He’s working with Matt Wieters behind the plate today, after he threw to Miguel Montero in the sim game, in an attempt to get to know one of his potential backup catchers better.
Working with Wieters last season, Strasburg, who finished third in the voting for the 2017 NL Cy Young, posted a 2.74 ERA and a .201/.269/.327 line against in 17 starts and 108 1⁄3 IP.
Today’s game is only available via the Marlins’ radio feed on MLB.com. Also, Strasburg is batting eighth this afternoon. You do you, Dave Martinez.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE FISH:
#Nats vs #Marlins: Goodwin LF, Taylor CF, Harper RF, Kendrick 2B, Wieters C, Reynolds 1B, Sanchez 3B, Strasburg RHP, Difo SS— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) March 20, 2018