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Strasburg throwing again

Feb 10, 2011, 10:18 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg has taken a crucial step in his long, slow recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Nationals right-hander recently began throwing for the first time since wincing in pain upon throwing his final pitch in Philadelphia last August, a club official confirmed.

Strasburg, who has been rehabbing all winter near his home in San Diego, has only done some light throwing so far, playing catch on flat ground from a short distance. But performing that seemingly minor task five months after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery represents a significant milestone and puts the 22-year-old on a schedule that could see him pitching again in the major leagues in September.

Strasburg is due to report to spring training with the rest of Nationals pitchers and catchers next week, where he’ll continue to slowly build up arm strength and stamina. He won’t be permitted to throw off a bullpen mound or at full velocity for several months, but he’ll participate in conditioning and fielding drills with the rest of the pitching staff.

Read my full story on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Great news!

  2. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Lets dream about "how are we gonna fit Strasburg into our rotation?" since we have no weaknesses and don't want to mess up our playoff drive.

  3. TimDz - Feb 11, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Am I the only one who feels that having SS pitch in the majors this September as a bad idea? Odds are that we will not be in a playoff race, so why push it?I would prefer to let him take the starts in the minors, shut him down and get him ready to go full speed next spring training.So, am I on an island here?

  4. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    I'm fine with SS taking his time to rehab, TimDz. So, is there a volleyball on this island as well? :-)

  5. mjr - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    This is awesome news. Go Stephen! I agree about the September games but at the same time, I can understand the team wanting to get him into some relatively low-pressure but still major league games before 2012. I'm sure they will err on the side of caution, though.

  6. yankish2 - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Let him pitch in the majors this September. Then he won't have to wonder during the off season if he can still pitch in the majors. He will also learn how much more he has to do before he comes all the way back.

  7. BinM - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    @TimDz: Whether Rizzo & Co. decide to keep him in the minors, or promote him back to DC in September, the hard fact is they'll still have to burn an option on him since he's on the 40-man roster. Example: Strasburg is currently on the 40-man roster (true); He's assigned to the 60-DL to begin the season (assumed – no penalty). At some point in June or July, he's sent to the minors on a rehab assignment – That's where the clock starts ticking. Rehab assignments normally don't last longer than 30 days without a player being optioned. The bottom line is still an option burned, regardless of whether he pitches for the Nationals in September 2011 or not. My guess is that he will come up, since the minor leagues are by-and-large finished in early September.

  8. Anonymous8 - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    There is no rush but if the Docs say he is ready like JZim was then you absolutely keep him on the schedule which is pitching in the Minors in July and build up from there.

  9. Feel Wood - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    "Am I the only one who feels that having SS pitch in the majors this September as a bad idea? Odds are that we will not be in a playoff race, so why push it?I would prefer to let him take the starts in the minors, shut him down and get him ready to go full speed next spring training."The minors shut down in September. Their season is over. So if Strasburg's rehab plan calls for him to continue pitching into September (and it may well do that) the majors would be the only place. So why not?

  10. Theophilus - Feb 11, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Every story I've ever seen about rehab from TJ says the overriding issue is "command." Invariably, the rehabbing pitcher throws at close to his former velocity but has to recover the mechanics of pitching — and replicating his motion, pitch after pitch — and his "command" of the strike zone. If Strasburg begins pitching in earnest — in whatever league — in late July-early August then it is very much to his and the Nationals' advantage to work at this part of the process until the big league season grinds to a finish. Then, ST 2012 becomes about conditioning, not mechanics, and he is ready on Opening Day to pitch deeper into games and be the ace of the staff. God willing, the sooner the better.

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 11, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Tim, he'll be throwing a baseball somewheres, so I figure he needs the work. IF, and and say IF, he's cleared to throw, let him throw against the big boys. It's 100 mph whether it's Pujols, or me, at the plate.

  12. N. Cognito - Feb 11, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    STH Presale Feb 15-20, beginning at 10:00AM

  13. Sunderland - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    TimDz said:"So, am I on an island here?"It kinda seems like it yeah.Hope it's warm.Maybe 1a will have sunscreen.If he's progressing, then I want him throwing in MLB in 2011. It will help a lot with his winter training and his 2012.

  14. erocks33 - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    if he must throw in September, then let him come up but don't start him. let him come out of the bullpen for a couple of innings every 4-5 days.

  15. Tim - Feb 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    I sure hope riggs and rizz will take these suggestions to heart.Not. There is a procedure for recovery from tj. I hope they follow it and not the advice from this forum.

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