Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Stephen Strasburg's next step

This morning, Craig Stammen jogged behind the batting cage at Field 1 at the Washington Nationals training complex, darting off to another field to perform his own duties. He looked out to the mound, saw which pitcher was warming up, and grinned.

"I kind of want to just watch this," Stammen said.

No matter what he is doing, Stephen Strasburg is the main attraction at Nationals spring training. Simple drills for others transform into milestones for him. Today, Strasburg threw to hitters for the first time, an occasion he said he treated "just like another bullpen session."

For Strasburg, of course, there is not just another anything. He threw to four batters - Eric Bruntlett, Roger Bernadina, Derek Norris, and Willy Taveras, in order - but the activity couldn't exactly be labeled batting practice. None of the hitters swung even once, opting instead to track the pitches.

"I didn't swing because it's still pretty early yet, and it's kind of cold today," said Norris, a well-regarded catching prospect. "So I kind of wimped out."

Temperatures dipped into the high-30s, chilly weather that Strasburg, despite having lived in San Diego all his life, is accustomed to. He played at San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference, which included trips to Colorado State, TCU, BYU, Utah and New Mexico. He pitched in elevation, often, in the cold. ("Especially in Friday night games," Strasburg said.)

"San Diego has got the best weather, but it's something you've got to get used to," Strasburg said. "The thing that I learned from college pitching in that scenario is that you've got to go with the flow. It's not going to be 72 with not a cloud in the sky every single time out. You've just got to go with what you got."

Undeterred by the cold, Strasburg displayed his electric arsenal in his fourth throwing session of the spring. Some Nationals received a new perspective on it. Norris had caught him several times before, but standing in the box felt different.

"Sometimes it's even hard to catch," Norris said. "Let alone trying to put a round barrel on it."

Afterward in the clubhouse, Strasburg held court for about three minutes, discussing the anticipation of throwing his first spring game and the pitfalls of the L screen used during batting practice. Nothing has surprised Strasburg during his first nine days in camp - "I'm enjoying myself," he said - not even the constant media glare.

"He's been dealing with that stuff for two years," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "It's unfortunate that he has to deal with it, because it shouldn't be that way. He hasn't done anything, and now he's got to deal with everything already. But, you know, he handles it well. He's a nice kid. He works hard.

"He handles it the right way. Obviously, he's conscious of all the veteran guys around here. He knows what he's doing. He's a good kid."

Once reports dissolved around Strasburg, starter John Lannan asked him, "You get a little tired toward the end?"

Strasburg answered, "No."

Video added at 6 p.m.:

Above photo: Toni Sandys, Washington Post

By Adam Kilgore  |  February 27, 2010; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: nationals spring training, stephen strasburg  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jesus Flores: 'I don't see any opportunity to start Opening Day'
Next: What to do with Ian Desmond?

Comments

Any video? ;-)

Posted by: cassander | February 27, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

See Kilgore, now you've upped the ante, set the expectations high. We won't rest until you give us video for every post, two posts per hour!

And ice cream for all of us. Barry and Chico both gave us ice-cream, you know.

Seriously, though. You've swooped in and taken over seamlessly. It's like nothing ever happened. And we're getting more posts too. You clearly know your audience and for that I thank you.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 27, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

That's "No, SIR," rookie. I can just imagine Lannan is already planning how much shaving cream to use in SS's first pie-in-the-face interview.
**************
Once reports dissolved around Strasburg, starter John Lannan asked him, "You get a little tired toward the end?"

Strasburg answered, "No."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the beat AK. I too would like to sign the list to request some video links to them Nolan-esq bullpen sessions Straz is throwing down there. Love the Strasburg coverage, but I'd also like to hear a little more about the other kid hurler Storen. Any other year he would have been our top pick. Great story for the fish wrap today too by the way.

Posted by: hsukGO | February 27, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

NN, the Blogfather gave us ice cream. Blogfather II bought us beer.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I want beer AND ice cream.

Not necessarily at the same time.

And salmon.

Posted by: wigi | February 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll take 10 wins in a row to start the season ...

Posted by: periculum | February 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, OF COURSE you do, Wigi--you're in Alaska.

Seriously, any tsunami warnings there by you?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

That's a pretty soft group that Strasburg faced. The question might fall to "how wide were their eyes" when they came out of the cage? Norris has at least been on the recieving end for Strasburg previously, so he'd hopefully have the best feel/read on what was coming.

Posted by: BinM | February 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, then it's settled. If the Nationals win 10 in a row to start, the first round is on Kilgore.
Duffy's, across from the 9:30?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

What's the next step, a beer float? - Root beer would be OK, but with most Lagers or Ales that seems nasty, & probably out of Adam's price range as well. Maybe a Gennesee Cream Ale float?
And wigi, don't you get enough salmon at home in AK, or are you just looking for Kilgore to buy you a full meal?

Posted by: BinM | February 27, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

For Nats fans its always Bourbon and Maalox. Not sure that is going to change this year ...

Posted by: periculum | February 27, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is great, and Strasburg equals hope. Still, I want to ask a question of the Constituency again, one that doesn't deal with the stars of camp:

Who among the camp long-shots are you rooting for most this spring? Pick a position player and a pitcher. My first choices were Chris Duncan and Chuck James. Since James is in minor-league camp, I guess that won't work.

This is not about who you think will make it, but who you will root for. Any Kevin Mench people out there? Any Matt Chico fans? - he is out of options. With Jesus Flores down for now, does anybody want to raise the flag for Derek (sp?) Norris?

My hope is that we can have a subcontext going in a spring that will be doiminated by Strasburg. We need him, but his future looks brighter than many of the others in camp.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | February 27, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Guinness Float, BinM. Fantastic

Posted by: Kev29 | February 27, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"My hope is that we can have a subcontext going in a spring that will be doiminated by Strasburg. We need him, but his future looks brighter than many of the others in camp."

Let's hope he isn't a reincarnation of another bright star in the midst of mediocrity ... with only 2 exceptions: Walter Johnson. He definitely needs more than just a mediocre supporting staff.

Posted by: periculum | February 27, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@Halfstreet, I think having Chico back and strong as a legit starter would make a huge difference, especially if Olsen doesn't make it, and just for the symmetry, Mock, since Livo will be around for a while, I hope. Not Ace Cake, but having any cake and eating it too is nice.

With ice cream.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

His future *IS* brighter. (Not guaranteed, just bright.)

http://tinyurl.com/m26w39

**************
[Strasburg's] future looks brighter than many of the others in camp.
+1/2St.
Posted by: kevincostello | February 27, 2010 5:34 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

HEY! what's with the "private video" from vimeo?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

that's better. thanks (adam?)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Private video? Whoa. What'd I miss? :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 27, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

S'ok, 1a, you're not in this one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 27, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

haha, sec3. :P

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 27, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company