|Photo Credit: cleveland.com|
The first overall pick of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, Strasburg signed a record $15.1M contract before ever even throwing a pitch for the Nationals. Arguably the most hyped draft pick in baseball history, Strasburg didn't disappoint when he finally did take the field. The young righthander breezed through AA and AAA last year posting an ERA of 1.30 in 11 starts before getting called up to Washington last June. He continued to live up to the hype striking out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates in 7 shutout innings in his Major League debut and earned his first win. He would go on to set a record for most strikeouts in a pitcher's first three appearances (32), and before getting shut down with the injury Strasburg compiled a record of 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in just 68 innings.
Strasburg's return comes at a perfect time for the Nationals as their other young righthander, 25 year old Jordan Zimmermann, who ironically was a also a recent recipient of Tommy John surgery, is on a 160 inning limit this season and will be shut down right around the time Strasburg is slated to come back. While this season is likely a lost cause, Zimmermann's solid 2011 (7-9 3.12 ERA 22 starts), the potential return of Strasburg, and the possibility that Bryce Harper will be major league ready next year give Nationals fans reasons to be optimistic moving forward.
|Photo Credit: khanworldsports.blogspot.com|