Network News

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

Strasburg's bullpen session

Sunday morning, in a span of eight minutes, Stephen Strasburg threw 37 pitches in a fenced-in practice area behind a labyrinth of ballfields. For Strasburg, the activity was no big deal. For the Washington Nationals, it represented a high-water mark for spring training excitement.

I'll have more detail on the Strasburg bullpen session later in the day -- the fishwrap story, by rule, will be Strasburg-centric -- but here are the things to know for the moment:

For all the raves Strasburg drew, Manager Jim Riggleman later said that the No. 1 pick will open the season in the minors, barring extraordinary circumstances. Asked whether Strasburg is competing for a rotation job, Riggleman said, "I wouldn't really want to say that he's competing for a spot in the rotation. I think we're open-minded, but ... he could pitch real well down here, but we still might feel like the development, the process is to be respected of going through the system and getting really used to the rigors of throwing every fifth day [in the minor leagues]."

During the morning, attention followed Strasburg almost exclusively. Roughly 75 people crowded the fence to watch Strasburg's session. (Fellow pitchers Matt Chico, Tyler Walker, Aaron Thompson and Joel Peralta also had side-by-side pitching sessions.) Catcher Derek Norris, who caught Strasburg, said, "About every pitch that went by I heard a click-click-click-click."

While Strasburg pitched, future Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez took a crouch and watched from behind the mound. Team president Stan Kasten stood directly behind Rodriguez. Almost every member of the front office, and every pitching coach in the organization, observed the session. So did reporters from ESPN, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 21, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A great shot, perhaps powered by a hot dog
Next: So, Strasburg, how was your first day of high school?


What is that click click click they speak of when catching for Strazy?

Posted by: hsukGO | February 21, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

First, by the way. .
and second too!

Posted by: hsukGO | February 21, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

A current 'high-water' mark for press over-indulgence in Viera to-date, certainly. But, more importantly to the team, how did the other four look?
A local 'Beat' reporter would hopefully give the report on the team, not just the ESPN / FSN / CBSsports "Star" focus; we can read that in other places. How did the other four look?

Posted by: BinM | February 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Come On BinM....Chico had no idea why a first base coach would have a stop you think he could tell us if Chico had more pop on his fastball than 2007?

Posted by: JayBeee | February 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Clicking is photographers. Congrats on being 1st and 2nd. You are super-awesome.

Posted by: Sunderland | February 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, the other four were watching SS while they threw.

OK, that wasn't really fair.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 21, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@JayBeee: Probably not, since MChico's fastball (even at 100%) has been more 'plop' than 'pop'.

Posted by: BinM | February 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Philadelphia Inquirer? Guess they didn't get the memo that Strasburg won't be starting against Halladay on Opening Day.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

So what were the battery pairs? With Rodriguez monitoring Strassburg, I could assume Strasburg/Norris, Matt Chico/[Burke?], Tyler Walker/[Nieves?], Aaron Thompson/[BP catcher?] and Joel Peralta/[Ivany?]. I'd also guess there were other bullpen sessions today beyond these five?

Posted by: BinM | February 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

BinM, according to Mark
"The pitchers are split into six groups. Three will throw bullpen sessions today. The other three will throw tomorrow. Today's throwers are: Jason Marquis, Shawn Estes, Tyler Clippard, Doug Slaten, Jesse English, Ryan Mattheus, Stephen Strasburg, Tyler Walker, Matt Chico, Aaron Thompson, Joel Peralta, Craig Stammen, Miguel Batista, Sean Burnett, Ryan Speier and Victor Garate."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Starting to see the Chinese fans? Probably more in June ...

Posted by: periculum | February 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse


From what I have been hearing and reading Chico has several MPH more on his fastball than the 87 MPH he was putting up in 07......somewhere I read he hit low 90's this spring...if so that is a game changing event for Matt Chico....he could be Olsen in 06 with a 92 MPH fastball.

Posted by: JayBeee | February 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Chad Cordero reported to the Mariners training camp reportedly 26 lbs lighter than previous playing weight. You think the Chief might be motivated a little bit this year. Good luck to him.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 21, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@sec3(sofa): Good - Three sessions of 5 per day until the rest of the crew checks in on Tuesday. Then the team gets down to business.
@JayBeee: If Chico can continue to throw 93-94mph as reported w/control, he becomes a viable challenger for the #4SP slot (vs Olsen), imo. He's already proven himself to be a 'smart' pitcher, but can he become a 'solid' one as well?

Posted by: BinM | February 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Who are SPs 1, 2, and 3 (in any order)?

Posted by: usmc53 | February 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company