What would have been his turn in the Washington Nationals’ rotation fell on an off day last week, so 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, who’s made just one start this Spring as the club takes a cautious approach after last year’s heavy workload, threw a 53-pitch or three-inning-ish bullpen session instead so that he could stay on schedule with the regular season fast approaching.
“He wanted to stay on his routine,” Nats’ skipper Martinez said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato.
“He threw well. He felt good. So we’ll get him back in his day to pitch.”
Strasburg, 31, went (18-6) with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.25 FIP, 56 walks (2.41 BB/9), 251 Ks (10.81 K/9), and a .210/.271/.349 line against in 33 starts and 209 IP in the 2019 regular season, and (5-0) with a 1.98 ERA, a 2.39 FIP, four walks (0.99 BB/9), 47 Ks (11.64 K/9), and a .221/.239/.368 line against in six games, five starts, and 36 1⁄3 IP during the Nationals’ run to the first World Series title by a D.C.-based team since 1924.
The Nationals are taking a cautious approach to the right-hander’s preparation for what will be his 11th big league campaign and the first year of the new 7-year/$245M deal he and the team agreed on after the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick opted out of the final four years and $100M on his previous contract, tested the free agent market, and returned to D.C.
“Luckily, I have the luxury to take my time early on in camp and know it’s a long season,” he said, as quoted by MASN’s Pete Kerzel after his initial Grapefruit League outing this Spring.
Strasburg faced the Houston Astros in that appearance (after going up against them in the Fall Classic), and he’ll start against the ‘Stros again today, when the two clubs play again in their shared Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE ASTROS:
#Nats “at” #Astros at 1:05 PM EDT from WPB (Radio only via MLB dot com): pic.twitter.com/j7R07LADPe— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) March 11, 2020