Aug 9, 2011, 11:35 PM EST
Associated Press photo
Stephen Strasburg threw 31 pitches over 1 2/3 innings Sunday at Hagerstown.
CHICAGO — Stephen Strasburg’s rehab tour has officially booked its next stop. The recovering Nationals right-hander will start Friday night at high-Class A Potomac, the closest he’ll get to Washington before making his official return from Tommy John surgery next month.
Five days after throwing 31 pitches over 1 2/3 innings for low-Class A Hagerstown, Strasburg will climb one level up the Nationals’ farm system. He’s slated to throw three innings or about 45-50 pitches for Potomac against Myrtle Beach (an affiliate of the Texas Rangers).
Though the Nationals have had concerns about the field conditions at Pfitzner Stadium — which has experienced 11 postponements this season due, in part due to drainage problems — they will let Strasburg pitch there. Ultimately, according to general manager Mike Rizzo, it’s more important that the 23-year-old pitch in one of the organization’s home facilities than on the road at a different level.
“We need to control the environment, and we have that capability when we’re at home,” Rizzo said, adding: “Potomac was home.
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