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Healthy Strasburg is all smiles

Feb 19, 2012, 6:13 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg reported for spring training today.

VIERA, Fla. — It's been nearly 18 months since Stephen Strasburg reached back to throw that 90 mph changeup in Philadelphia and immediately felt something wrong in his elbow. There was barely a day after that in which the young right-hander didn't think about the state of his arm, didn't wonder in the back of his mind whether everything was OK, even after he had made his successful return to the Nationals in September.

And then Strasburg went home to San Diego for the winter, took some time off to relax and recuperate, and then began throwing a baseball again as part of a routine offseason program.

For the first time since that devastating night in Philadelphia, Strasburg realized he was no longer thinking about his arm.

"When I go out there and throw, it feels so much more natural now than it did coming off the surgery," he said today upon reporting for spring training. "My mind's a lot clearer. I just go out there and throw theRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    And Today is Strasmas on MASN at 2!

  2. SonnyG10 - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Thanks for the heads up, MicheleS.

  3. dj in Fl. - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    So my wife and Nats fan was doing the online banking this morning and was suddenly asked a security question. Being taken by surprise she failed her pop quiz and we had to call to have the account unlocked. After unlocking our account the associate asked if we wanted to change our security question. We said no, leave it as the team we most like to see lose, with the answer Phillies of course. Our bank associate could not believe our answer. So I had to ask where she was located, and you know the answer. We all had a good laugh.Opening day of spring training, with a team ready to win!!! Life is good.

  4. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    dj in Fl. an interesting poll on the Phillies blog today:Which team is the biggest threat to the Phillies’ chances to win the NL East for the sixth straight year?Atlanta Braves. 318 (48.4%)Miami Marlins. 222 (33.8%)Washington Nationals. 108 (16.4%)New York Mets. 9 (1.4%)Total votes = 657[They're not taking us seriously in the least up there].

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Good story, jd in FL.

  6. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Not surprising, Seams. The bandwagon fans would be a year behind the times, and the Braves have earned that respect on their own. I think it's pretty safe to say the Phillies themselves aren't looking past the Nats.

  7. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    But I wonder who those 9 Mets fans were.

  8. NatsBrat - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    @ djKnowing Philfies' fans, I'd change my account to another bank–she's on to you now!

  9. natsfan1a - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Maybe one fan who voted 9 times. :-)Sec 3, My Sofa said… But I wonder who those 9 Mets fans were. February 19, 2012 2:03 PM

  10. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    The Strasburg and Zimmermann stories regarding TJ surgery is amazing when one thinks that just a few short years ago both pitchers careers would have been over. My hat is always off to Tommy John for taking that risk the very first time. And then when you look at the career that he had after the operation, it just is incredible.I think Tommy's stats should have gotten him into the HOF, but there's even a legit argument that the impact that came about to the game as a result of that first surgery is in itself reason for him to be in.

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Knowing Philfies' fans, I'd change my account to another bank–she's on to you now! They just won't let you deposit or withdraw your money until all the locals have finished their transactions.

  12. Just sayin' - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Joe Seamhead @ 2:19,No offense, but if anyone gets into the Hall of Fame based on the impact of Tommy John surgery it should be Dr. Jobe, not Tommy himself.

  13. baseballswami - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    The Phillies obviously do not remember our record against them last year or that last series of the year. Or – wait for it – that thrilling finish where Ryan Zimmerman crushed them with a walk off. Oh, wait – or the way they failed in an epic way in the post- season. Oh, and another thing – the fact that they are without ryan howard and their team is getting old. I hope they think they nats are no threat – that way we can catch them off guard. Look out, here come the nats! By the way – on the Cameron thread – I appreciate his honesty and that he is making this decision before spring training instead of opening day.

  14. waddu eye no - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    michele s – thanks for the info on strasmas on tv. wish i'd known in time to see that second pitch to milledge. i'll remember that movement forever.hope jayb doesn't watch. he'll be on here talking about what an awful game it was. gyfng!

  15. JaneB - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    From the locker room, actual baseball news….first such post of the 2012 winning season!GYFNG,

  16. erocks33 - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I typically don’t like to beat a dead horse, but I was curious as to something JayB said (aw, who’s kidding who … it was the same thing JayB says). He ranted about the Nats failure to upgrade their bench and I wanted to see who might have the best bench. Now JayB may indeed be right, but after looking at some other teams rosters, I think it’s fair to say that MOST teams tend to have a pretty weak bench.So if anyone cares to look, I’ve compiled the following list of all non-starters for the Phillies, Braves, Marlins (our immediate rivals – sorry Mets fans). This includes players on the 40-man roster and non-roster invitees to ST. I’m breaking it down to Catchers, Infielders and Outfielders (I don’t have the time to differentiate who would be considered for which specific IF or OF position). This list may be broken into two or more posts …

  17. sm13 - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    It's Strasmas in February! Gotta love it!

  18. erocks33 - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Nationals – Catcher: Jesus Flores; Jhonatan Solano; Sandy Leon; Carlos MaldanadoInfielder: Chris Marrero; Tyler Moore; Chad Tracy; Steve Lombardozzi; Anthony Rendon; Mark Teahen; Andres Blanco; Mark DeRosa; Carlos Rivero; Jarrett HoffpauirOutfield: Eury Perez; Corey Brown; Bryce Harper; Roger Bernadina; Rick Ankiel; Brett Carroll; Jason Michaels; Xavier PaulPhillies – Catcher: Brian Schneider; Sebastian Valle; Erik Kratz; Tuffy Gosewisch; Steven LerudInfielder: Jim Thome; Ty Wigginton; Michael Martinez; Freddy Galvis; Harold Garcia; Cesar Hernandez; Kevin Frandsen; Hector Luna; Pete OrrOutfield: Laynce Nix; Tyson Gillies; Domonic Brown; Lou Montanez; Juan Pierre; Scott PodsednikBraves – Catcher: David Ross; Christian Bethancourt; J.C. Boscan; Evan Gattis; Mathew Kennelly; Jose YepezInfielder: Eric Hinske; Jack Wilson; Brandon Hicks; Ernesto Mejia;; Andrelton Simmons; Drew Sutton; Joe Terdoslavich; Josh WilsonOutfielder: Jose Constanza; Matt Diaz; Todd Cunningham; Luis Durango; Stefan Gartrell; Jordan ParrazMarlins – Catcher: Brett Hayes; Jake Jefferies; Luke Montz; Clint Sammons; Kyle Skipworth Infielder: Greg Dobbs; Matt Dominguez; Donnie Murphy; Nick Green; Donovan Solano; Terry Tiffee; Gil VelazquezOutfielder: Chris Coghlan; Scott Cousins; Kevin Mattison; Bryan Petersen; Kyle Jensen; Austin Kearns; Aaron Rowand

  19. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Just sayin' said…Joe Seamhead @ 2:19,No offense, but if anyone gets into the Hall of Fame based on the impact of Tommy John surgery it should be Dr. Jobe, not Tommy himself.———————————————————No offense taken, as I agree that there should be a place in the HOF for Dr. Jobe, also, but Tommy John did consent to a surgery that Jobe gave him a 1% chance of succeeding and then rehabbed for 18 months before making a comeback. He ended up with 288 wins in his career and 164 of them came after the operation. It's only my humble opinion, [that the voting baseball writers didn't agree with], that all things and stats considered, he deserves to be in the Hall.

  20. MicheleS - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Waddu.. they will be replaying Strasmas All Week. It the Nationals' Classic for this week. (Mon @7PM is next Airing)

  21. Anonymous - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Erocks33 – Nice research. In a quick glance I'd have to say Marlins have the best bench with Dobbs being such a good PH and Coghlan being a nice option in the OF. DEM

  22. Cwj - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Watched the 7th inning of Stras debut today.For some reason whenever it's on tv, I always miss the first 6 innings.I'd like to see some of his starts from last year.I still kick myself for not seeing his 6IP 10SO game until after the fact.Big things are coming from Stras this year. Can't wait.And JZimmermann is going to be one of the best as well.

  23. Cwj - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Erocks33- Thanks for that info!I like doing research on my own like that.Good stuff.

  24. N. Cognito - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    About the only thing I've ever agreed with JayB on is the weakness of the Nats bench, including the upcoming one. I just don't feel the urge to post that thought 3,784 times.

  25. greg - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    yeah, i'll definitely agree with the fact that the nats' bench is by far the most disappointing flaw in the team so far this offseason. it's been a weakness on this team for a while. i think part of that stems from not having a good farm system for a while. note that some of what makes the marlins backup OFs look so much better is the guys they developed (like coughlin). we developed bernie, maxwell… that's pretty much it (for who's made the majors). lombardozzi is really the only fringe IF we have right now from our system. basically, for who's "made it" onto the roster recently that we've developed completely (on the field, not pitchers), you have desmond, espinosa, zimmerman in starting roles. the other guys are all prospects who we got when they were up/on the verge (like ramos) or who were late bloomers (morse) or were rule 5 (flores). or who are really AAAA (bernadina). the jury is out on lombardozzi at this point. marerro is, to me, mostly a bust, a fringe player like bernadina.

  26. Cwj - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    Pitching, not bench, wins games.

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