Strasburg to make second rehab appearance with Suns

August 15, 2011
  • Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg pitched recently for the Hagerstown Suns in a rehab assignment in Hagerstown. Strasburg will pitch for the Suns on Wednesday against Lexington at Municipal Stadium.
Herald-Mail file photo

Stephen Strasburg’s trip back to the major leagues will make another stop in Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown Suns announced that the Washington Nationals pitching star will pitch on Wednesday against Lexington at Municipal Stadium. It will be Strasburg’s second appearance with the Suns as he continues his comeback from elbow surgery.

How many innings and pitches Strasburg throws in the outing has yet to be determined.

Strasburg made his comeback debut with the Suns on Aug. 7 with a stint of 1 2/3 innings against Greensboro. He threw 31 pitches, allowing one run on three hits while striking out four.

He made his second start on Friday for the Potomac Nationals, Washington’s high Single-A affiliate in Woodbridge, Va. Strasburg competed three scoreless innings on 33 pitches, allowing two infield hits while striking out five.

If Strasburg continues his progression, four innings and/or 50 pitches could be possible.

The Nationals have been giving the first overall selection of the 2009 amateur draft work at the closest affiliates to Washington. The Suns got Strasburg’s firs start and are getting his third outing because they are only Nationals farm team playing at home.

It the pattern continues, there also is a chance for Strasburg to return to Hagerstown for Monday’s game with Hickory. Double-A Harrisburg is on the road and Potomac is off that day.

According to reports, the Nationals are planning to have Strasburg pitch every five days, as he will when he returns to Washington's starting rotation. Strasburg's schedule has closely mirrored that of starter Jordan Zimmermann, who will probably be shut down for the rest of the season in September.

The Nationals have placed Zimmermann — who rehabbed with the Suns last season after Tommy John surgery — on a 160-inning limit to protect his arm. If Strasburg progresses as hoped, he would assume Zimmermann's slot in the rotation late this season.

Strasburg, 23, has bounced back quickly from the elbow surgery, which usually carries a 10- to 14-month recovery period. He injured the elbow on Aug. 21, 2010, before undergoing reconstructive surgery in September to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

He worked for six months at Washington’s spring training site in Viera, Fla., before making his first Hagerstown start.

Strasburg was 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings last season before hurting his arm against Philadelphia. He became the talk of baseball after he struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates in his major league debut on June 8, 2010.

The Herald-Mail Articles